The song of the day for Saturday, May 31, 2014 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
Today’s version of “Begin the Beguine” is Tony Bennett’s first recording of the song, from The Beat of My Heart, released in 1957. The album, Bennett’s third 12″ LP, featured percussionists from the world over to the studio. This song features the drummer Jo Jones, Ralph Sharon on piano, Eddie Costa on vibes, Eddie Safranski on bass and Robert Alexander, Ziskind Lieb, Kai Winding and James Dahl on trombone.
Even though the album was produced by Mitch Miller, it was devised and conceived entirely by Bennett and Ralph Sharon.
“Begin The Beguine,” as well as the album The Beat of My Heart, is available from iTunes.
For today’s video, we’re doing a bit of a departure in showing a video of Artie Shaw and His Orchestra playing “Begin The Beguine.” Maybe it’s because I used play the clarinet, but I’ve always had real soft spot for Artie Shaw’s version of this Cole Porter song. This recording is from 1938.