The Song of the Day for October 27, 2012 is Give Me The Simple Life.
About Give Me The Simple Life
This song was written for the 1946 film Wake Up And Dream by Rube Bloom and Harry Ruby.
About This Version
Mr. Bennett has only recorded this song once, for his 1955 album Cloud 7. I choose this song for several reasons, but primarily because it’s Cloud 7. Up to 1954 when he started working on this album, Tony Bennett had primarily recorded singles produced by Mitch Miller. A long-playing album compiled of previous singles had been released a couple of years earlier, but Cloud 7 was an early concept album and one of Columbia’s first 12″ long-playing records that was conceived and recorded as a whole. We have to remember that this was a new format for the recording industry and Cloud 7 would have been important for that reason alone. (Note the original album designation: CL 621.)
Cloud 7 was an important recording for Tony Bennett, as it represents his first foray into jazz after the amazingly successful launch of his career as a popular singer. In spite of his success, Mr. Bennett had to fight to get this album made. And we are glad he did. It’s a great achievement and is as relevant today as it was in 1955 when it was released.
Mr. Bennett put together the finest musicians available for this album. The great guitarist, Chuck Wayne, not only played exceptional guitar for the album, but arranged all the songs on the album as well.
As for the choice of Give Me The Simple Life, I primarily chose it because I really like the song. However, in listening to this album, you can hear in this song that Tony Bennett has found and defined the style that he still employs today, nearly sixty years later. I can listen to this song and hear the voice of both the young singer finding his groove and the legend that is Tony Bennett today. I find it an extraordinary recording for that reason.
And it swings. And as Duke Ellington tells us: It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing.