The song of the day for Tuesday, August 21, 2018, is “Poor Little Rich Girl.”
About This Song
“Poor Little Rich Girl” was written in 1925 by Noël Coward for the 1925 revue On With the Dance. It is one of his most popular songs.
About This Version
Tony Bennett recorded “Poor Little Rich Girl” in 1959 for Basie Swings, Bennett Sings, Ralph Sharon did the arrangement.
Tony Bennett had to convince Mitch Miller at Columbia that the two-album deal with Count Basie was a good thing. The plan was to do one album on the Roulette label, which Basie used, and the other on Columbia. Tony recounts in his book Just Getting Started:
I guess I’d dreamed of working with Bill ever since I heard his “One O’Clock Jump” just before I went off to war. Then I came back, started singing in clubs, and saw COUNT BASIE AND HIS ORCHESTRA on one marquee after another up and down 52nd Street while I tried to break into the business. In 1958, I finally got my chance.
Bill and I decided to record two albums together, one for each record label. Mitch Miller was aghast and kept refusing to authorize the project. But I kept asking. Mitch had a new hit record out—“ The Yellow Rose of Texas”— that was also in the classic film Giant. The week it replaced “Rock Around the Clock” as the number one hit, I decided it would be a good time to ask again. Mitch would be likely to be in a good mood.
“Go ahead,” he told me. “If you want to ruin your career.” Maybe he was even hoping for that.
Bill Basie and I had spoken only on the phone. But when we finally met in a rehearsal studio, joined by his great band, there were mutual respect and electricity. We ran through a couple of numbers, and Bill turned to those great musicians and pointed at me.
“Give this man anything he wants,” he said.
Poor Little Rich Girl – 1990 Remix/Remaster, a song by Count Basie, Tony Bennett, Tristan Powell on Spotify
“Poor Little Rich Girl,” as well as Basie Swings, Bennett Sings, is available from iTunes.
Today we are celebrating William James “Count” Basie on the anniversary of his birth in Red Hook, NJ on August 21, 1904. Count Basie was a noted pianist and band leader up until his death in 1984. Happy birthday, Bill Basie.