The song of the day for Saturday, April 9, 2016 is “Sophisticated Lady.”
About This Song
Duke Ellington wrote “Sophisticated Lady” in 1932 as an instrumental. Lyrics were added later by Mitchell Parish and Irving Mills. Ellington is said to have been inspired to write this song by two of his grade school teachers, who toured Europe in the summers after teaching all year. “To me that spelled sophistication.” “Sophisticated Lady” was first recorded in 1933 on the flip side with Harold Arlen’s Stormy Weather. It is, of course, one of Ellington’s most popular and often-played songs. In addition to numerous recordings by Ellington over the years, the song has been recorded by Art Tatum, Anita O’Day, Billie Holiday, Billy Eckstine, Johnny Hodges, Sarah Vaughan, and Glenn Miller.
About This Version
Tony Bennett has recorded “Sophisticated Lady” several times, but I am quite partial to this recording from his 1999 album Tony Bennett Sings Ellington: Hot & Cool. Gray Sargent on guitar and Joel Smirnoff on violin provide the brilliant accompaniment.
“Sophisticated Lady,” as well as Bennett Sings Ellington: Hot & Cool, is available from iTunes.
Our video is the Duke Ellington Orchestra performing “Sophisticated Lady” in Copenhagen, probably in 1971. It features the great Harry Carney.