The song of the day for Sunday, July 19, 2015 is “Old Devil Moon.”
About This Song
“Old Devil Moon” was written for the 1947 musical Finian’s Rainbow, with music by Burton Lane and lyrics from Yip Harburg. Also from this musical is the song “How Are Things in Glocca Morra?” While Alec Wilder was no fan of “How Are Things in Glocca Morra?”, in America Popular Song he praises “Old Devil Moon” as “a well-written, wholly convincing song. It drives, and its initial intensity is sustained throughout.”
About This Version
Today’s version is Bennett’s second recording of “Old Devil Moon.” He recorded for his first album, Cloud 7, in 1954. Today’s version is from 1964 for the album Tony Makes It Happen!. I love the opening of this song, with the glissando of strings; Rainbow is, after all, a musical filled with magic. While the strings continue to remind us of its ethereal quality, this is a superb big band arrangement.
I think my favorite part comes about 1:20 into the recording, where Bennett holds the note as he sings ‘love’ for what seems like forever, while the brass climbs up the scale. It’s really fantastic!
About This Week
This week, The Year of Tony Bennett honors a friend of this blog: Marion Evans. During the week, we will feature recordings by this gifted arranger.
Evans arranged and conducted all the songs on Bennett’s 1967 album Tony Makes It Happen! and continues to arrange for him today.
“Old Devil Moon,” as well as Tony Makes It Happen!, is available from iTunes.