The song of the day for Friday, October 25, 2013 is a medley of “The Good Life” and “I Wanna Be Around.”
About These Songs
These are two of Tony Bennett’s most popular songs, both of which originally appeared on Bennett’s 1964 album I Wanna Be Around.
“The Good Life” (“La Belle Vie” in the original French) was written in 1962 by Sacha Distel with lyrics by Jack Reardon. The song originally appeared in the 1963 film Seven Capital Sins.
“I Wanna Be Around” was written 1959 by Johnny Mercer and Sadie Vimmerstedt. Ms. Vimmerstedt, who lived in Youngstown, Ohio, was a big fan of Johnny Mercer. One day she was inspired to write the line “I want to be around to pick up the pieces, when somebody breaks your heart.” She thought it sounded like a Johnny Mercer song, and so she mailed the lyrics to him (Johnny Mercer, Songwriter, New York, NY). The post office forwarded the letter to ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers), who gave it to Mercer. Mercer must have agreed with Sadie, as he not only completed the lyric but composed the tune as well. Mercer gave Ms. Vimmerstedt a healthy portion of the royalties, which made Ms. Vimmerstedt a very well-to-do woman.
About This Version
Because Tony Bennett is performing with the quartet tonight (Casino Rama Entertainment Centre in Rama, Ontario, Canada), we thought it would be nice to feature a recording of a live performance. Tonight’s medley is from Tony Bennett’s Grammy-winning album MTV Unplugged from 1994. Bennett, playing with the Ralph Sharon Trio, gave a great concert live on television and won over a whole new generation of fans in one night. This concert also marks the first time Bennett performed with k.d. lang; a few years later they did an album of songs made famous by Louis Armstrong, A Wonderful World. They have been recording together since then.