The song of the day for Saturday, June 11, 2016 is “Begin The Beguine.”
About This Song
One of Cole Porter’s most popular songs, “Begin the Beguine” is from the 1935 musical Jubilee. The song has an unusual structure, having a 108 measure length, as opposed to the standard 32-bar structure of most popular music. One of the earliest popular recordings was Artie Shaw’s instrumental in 1938. The middle eastern style of the song is well-served by Shaw’s clarinet solo.
About This Version
Tony Bennett recorded this version of “Begin the Beguine” in 1957, with an arrangement by Ralph Sharon; the recording features drummer Jo Jones. The song was originally omitted from Bennett’s album The Beat of My Heart, but was added to the first CD release.
“Begin The Beguine,” as well as The Beat of My Heart, is available from iTunes.
Our first video today is from the movie Broadway Melody of 1940 and features the great Fred Astaire and the great Eleanor Powell dancing to our song of the day.
I was a pretty serious clarinet player in high school and adored both Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw. I think Shaw’s recording of “Begin the Beguine” is a real masterpiece, so here’s an extra video today.