The song of the day for Saturday, March 29, 2014 is “Fly Me To The Moon.”
About This Song
“Fly Me To The Moon” was written by Bart Howard in 1954. It was originally titled “In Other Words,” but the song was not doing that well, in spite of several recordings. In 1962, Howard renamed the song to “Fly Me To The Moon,” and the song began to catch on. There have been many recordings of the song, including those by Frank Sinatra, Kaye Ballard and many more. However, Bart Howard told Bennett that his 1965 recording was “the definitive performance of this song.”
About This Version
Today’s version is Bennett’s first recording: in 1965 for If I Ruled The World: Song For The Jet Set. This same version appears on the 40/50/60 Years: The Artistry of Tony Bennett box sets.
I think it’s interesting that other than the live MTV performance, Tony Bennett has not re-recorded the song with another arrangement. But how do you improve on perfection?
That said, my favorite version of this song has never been recorded. It was the version that Mr. Bennett sang at the Paramount Theater in Seattle, Washington on September 14, 2007. This was my first Tony Bennett concert. By the time I bought my tickets, there were no orchestra seats left and I could only get tickets in what was (optimistically) called the mezzanine. At that time, I didn’t know that at certain concert halls, Mr. Bennett sometimes sings this song a capella, without a microphone. Towards the end of the concert, he put down his microphone and started to sing “Fly Me To The Moon.” Even in back of the house, his voice filled the auditorium. All of us hung on every note, never wanting this beauty to ever end. I’ve since heard him do the song without a microphone, but nothing could have prepared me for that first moment. It was, and remains, a moment of pure magic.
“If I Ruled The World,” as well as the album If I Ruled The World: Song For The Jet Set, is available from iTunes.
The Year of Tony Bennett is happy to present this video of Mr. Bennett singing this beautiful song: