The song of the day for Sunday, June 1, 2014 is “Fly Me To The Moon.”
About This Song
Written in 1954, “Fly Me To The Moon” 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. Tony Bennett’s 1965 recording for If I Ruled The World was a big hit for Bennett. 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.”
Your blogger first heard Tony Bennet sing “Fly Me To The Moon” 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.
The Year of Tony Bennett notes that the author of this song, Bart Howard, was born on June 1, 1915 in Burlington, Iowa and died in 2004. On what would have been his 99th birthday, we are pleased to dedicate today’s song to his memory and offer our thanks for this quite wonderful song.
About This Version
Today’s version is from Bennett’s legendary television appearance on MTV Unplugged in front of a live audience. Accompanied by the Ralph Sharon Trio, with Doug Richeson on bass and Clayton Cameron on drums, Tony Bennett reached a whole new audience, singing the songs he likes to sing, sung the way he likes to sing them. This album won the coveted Grammy Award for Album of the Year.
“Fly Me To The Moon,” as well as the album MTV Unplugged: Tony Bennett, is available from iTunes.