The song of the day for Tuesday, January 7, 2013 is “Once Upon a Time.”
About This Song
“Once Upon a Time” was written by Charles Strouse (music) and Lee Adams (lyrics) for the 1962 Ray Bolger musical All American, where it was introduced by Bolger and Eileen Herlie. While the musical was not a major smash hit, the song is quite lovely. In addition to Tony Bennett’s fine recording, it was also recorded by Frank Sinatra, Andy Williams, Howard Keel, Bobby Darrin and Mandy Patinkin.
My mother had an Andy Williams album with this song on it. As a young pre-teen girl, I thought it was the most beautiful and romantic song I’d ever heard. I still do, though I much prefer Tony Bennett’s versions of it.
About This Version
The first recording of “Once Upon a Time” by Tony Bennett has quite a history: it was the A-side to the 45rpm single that had “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” on the B-side. And we all know how that turned out. Bennett mentions in concert how they were out plugging “Once Upon a Time” but the public really loved “I Left My Heart In San Francisco,” which turned out, of course, to be the song that won Bennett his first Grammy awards for Best Record of the Year and Best Solo Performance, Male. Nonetheless, “Once Upon a Time” is a beautiful song and he sings it regularly in concerts today.
Today’s version is not the original, but the live version from Live at the Sahara: Las Vegas, 1964, released last year. Today, my co-blogger and I both found ourselves, independently, not only listening to this concert album, but focusing on and replaying “Once Upon a Time.” This synchronicity is too perfect to ignore and so this is our song for today.
“Once Upon a Time,” as well as Live at the Sahara: Las Vegas, 1964, is available from iTunes.