The song of the day for Thursday, November 14, 2013 is “Speak Low.”
About This Song
“Speak Low” was written by Kurt Weill, with lyrics by poet Ogden Nash, for the 1943 Broadway musical One Touch of Venus. The song was introduced by the two stars: Mary Martin and Kenny Baker. Guy Lombardo recorded one of the first versions of this song that became a big hit.
This song is now considered a jazz standard (#120 on jazzstandards.com) and has received many fine recordings, including those by Tony Bennett (who first recorded it in 1959 for the album To My Wonderful One), Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and Joe Pass, and Barbra Streisand. You can read more about Speak Low at The Interactive Tony Bennett Discography.
About This Version
Tony Bennett included “Speak Low” on his autobiographical 1990 album Astoria: Portrait of the Artist. This songs on the album are the story of his return to Astoria after serving in Europe during World War II. In Astoria, we hear about the hopes and dreams of a young man finding his way, thinking about the future and his love for his hometown. Astoria is one of my very favorite Tony Bennett albums.
“Speak Low,” as well as the entire album, was arranged and conducted by Jorge Calandrelli, with whom Mr. Bennett has worked with steadily up to today.
“Speak Low.” as well as Astoria: Portrait of the Artist is available from iTunes.