The song of the day for Sunday, September 13, 2015 is “Cold, Cold Heart.”
About This Song
The great country and western singer Hank Williams wrote “Cold, Cold Heart” in 1951. It is the classic song of love spurned is said to have its origins in an encounter that Williams had with his wife Audrey. Their marriage was in trouble, mostly because both of them were engaged in extramarital affairs. Audrey had become pregnant and had an abortion without informing Hank first. She wound up in the hospital with an infection and Hank came to visit her. It seems that he tried to kiss Audrey, but she refused to kiss him and called him “a sorry son of a bitch.” Hank later related to the governess of their children that Audrey had “a cold, cold heart.” And out of this terribly painful point in his marriage came one of his greatest songs.
About These Versions
“Cold, Cold Heart” was one of Tony Bennett’s first great hits and he has recorded it several times since. He frequently sings it in concerts. As it’s Sunday, we’re presenting several different recordings of our song. Your author finds it very interesting to listen to Mr. Bennett work with the same song at different points in his career.
His first, and most famous recording was recording was made on May 31, 1951 and was arranged by Percy Faith.
“Cold, Cold Heart,” as well as The Columbia Singles, Vol. 1, is available from iTunes.
This version of “Cold, Cold Heart” is a favorite of mine. It’s just Tony and pianist John Bunch. In addition to it being a touching and quite effective arrangement of the song, Bennett also tells the story he so often tells in concert about Mitch Miller and this song. In concert, Bennett often tells the audience that he wasn’t sure about recording the song, but Mitch telling him that he had to do it, even if Mitch had to tie him to a tree. After a couple of beats, Bennett jokes “so he tied me to a tree and we made the recording.”
“Cold, Cold Heart,” as well as Rarities, Outtakes and Other Delights, Vol. 1, is available from iTunes.
This version is from his first duets album, Duets: An American Classic with country singer Tim McGraw. It features some lovely guitar work from Gray Sargent and an arrangement by Jorge Calandrelli. It was recorded on February 15, 2006.
“Cold, Cold Heart,” as well as Duets: An American Classic, is available from iTunes.
And, finally, is the 2006 arrangement in a duet with Vincentico from Viva Duets.
“Cold, Cold Heart,” as well as Viva Duets, is available from iTunes.
I’ll leave you with this Google “doodle” from Valentine’s Day, 2012: