The song of the day for September 30, 2017 is “I Wanna Be Around.”
About This Song
“I Wanna Be Around” was written in 1959 by Johnny Mercer and Sadie Vimmerstedt.
The story of “I Wanna Be Around” is legendary in the music business. Sadie Vimmerstedt, who lived in Youngstown, Ohio, was a big fan of Johnny Mercer’s music. She wrote the opening line ‘I want to be around to pick up the pieces, when somebody breaks yours heart’ and felt it sounded like a Johnny Mercer song. She mailed a letter to ‘Johnny Mercer, Songwriter, New York.’ The post office forwarded the letter to ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers), who got the letter to Mercer. Mercer wrote the melody himself and completed the lyrics for “I Wanna Be Around” in 1959 and asked Tony Bennett to record it, which he did in 1962. Mercer gave 50% of the profits to Ms. Vimmerstedt, which made her a wealthy woman and enabled her to retire and travel the world. It is one of the great songs in the American Songbook.
About This Version
Today I’m featuring Tony Bennett’s first recording of “I Wanna Be Around” from his 1962 I Wanna Be Around.
“I Wanna Be Around,” as well as the album of the same name, is available from iTunes.
Our video this Saturday features Tony Bennet and The Ralph Sharon Trio playing a medley of “The Good Life” and “I Wanna Be Around” from the 1994 MTV Unplugged live performance.
Today concludes our tribute to Ralph Sharon, who was with Tony Bennett for a large part of his career. I hope you enjoyed exploring some of the great music these two made with me this month.