The Song of the Day for October 30, 2012 is Because Of You.
About Because Of You
Because Of You was written in 1940 by Arthur Hammerstein with lyrics by Dudley Wilkinson. The song was used in the 1951 film I Was An American Spy. Tony Bennett recorded this song in 1951 and it was his first major hit record. Mr. Bennett relates this story in his autobiography, The Good Life:
By the spring of 1951, I was told that if I didn’t get a hit soon I’d be dropped from the label. I went into Percy’s (Percy Faith) office and he said, “In this next session you really have to deliver. We have only three songs ready, so we need another song.” I remember that he looked through a bunch of sheet music on his desk, grabbed a song, and said, “Well, let’s do this one.” That song was “Because of You.” I was doing a lot of dramatic singing on my early records like “Sing You Sinners” and “Boulevard,” but Percy said to me, “Just relax. Use your natural voice and sing the song.” I took his advice.
When “Because of You” was released, the record company didn’t have much confidence in me. But then something interesting started happening; the record didn’t get on the radio right away, but people were playing it on jukeboxes so often that it started to build momentum, one nickel at a time. It was unusual for a song to become popular on jukeboxes before it got on the radio, but this one did. Listeners from all around the country began calling their local radio stations and requesting “Because of You,” and it reached number one on Billboard magazine’s pop chart on June 23, 1951. It stayed on the chart for thirty-two weeks-ten weeks at number one. I finally had my first major hit record. It was amazing. Everywhere I went that summer I heard the song blaring from car radios, and record stores set up speakers outside and played the song to attract customers. My family was thrilled, of course, and couldn’t stop telling me how proud they were that I had made it. It was wonderful.
Because Of You is one of Tony Bennett’s most beloved songs.
About This Version
Tony Bennett and k.d. lang recorded this duet for Tony Bennett Duets – An American Classic. It’s really beautiful to hear these two wonderful singers, who are obviously so closely attuned to each other, sing this beautiful love song. The song is exquisitely orchestrated by Jorge Callandrelli and features the quartet of Lee Musiker (p), Gray Sargent (g), Paul Langosch (b) and Harold Jones (d).