The Song of the Day for Monday, November 19, 2012 is I Wanna Be Around.
About I Wanna Be Around
As part of Johnny Mercer week, we feature I Wanna Be Around as the song of the day. This is one of my favorite Johnny Mercer songs and has been for many years. It’s also one of the few songs that Mercer wrote the music for, with lyrics suggested by one his fans, Sadie Vimmerstedt. The song was released in 1959.
This song has been sung by many fine artists, including Bobby Darin, Frank Sinatra, James Brown and Lena Horne. But I believe that Tony Bennett has owned this song from the day he first recorded it. Johnny Mercer stated that Tony Bennett’s recording of I Wanna Be Around was his favorite interpretation of any song he ever wrote; not just this song, but of all the songs he ever wrote. It doesn’t get much better than that. The perfect song from my very favorite singer and one of my most favorite songwriters. It’s hard to beat.
About This Version
Tony Bennett recorded this version of I Wanna Be Around in October, 1962; it was released on Bennett’s 1963 album, I Wanna Be Around. It was arranged and conducted by Marty Manning and was produced by Ernie Altschuler. Mr. Bennett sings this song frequently in his concerts. It’s a personal favorite of this author.