The song of the day for Tuesday, May 23, 2017 is “Just In Time.”
About This Song
Today’s song, “Just In Time,” was written in 1956 for the musical Bells Are Ringing by Jule Style, Betty Comden and Adolph Green. The production starred the glorious Judy Holliday, who introduced the song along with Sidney Chaplin. Ms. Holliday also starred in the film version of Bells Are Ringing; this time her co-star was Dean Martin.
About This Version
Tony Bennett recorded today’s version of “Just In Time” in 1956, featuring an arrangement by Percy Faith. It was released as a single in 1959 and was added to the 1962 album Mr. Broadway: Tony’s Greatest Broadway Hits.
“Just In Time,” as well as Mr. Broadway: Tony’s Greatest Broadway Hits, is available from iTunes.
Today we remember Tony’s good friend Rosemary Clooney, who was born on May 23, 1928 in Kentucky. She and Tony became good friends in 1950 and remained friends until her death in 2002. I’m happy to feature Ms. Clooney’s recording of “Just In Time,” recorded in 1980.
Tony remembered Rosemary Clooney in this article from Entertainment Weekly:
Observing all the frenzy over the popular TV show ”American Idol,” I couldn’t help but remember that 50 years ago Rosemary Clooney and I helped pioneer that show’s premise. It was called ”Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts,” and what made it a little different was that it showcased rising young talent rather than pure amateurs. I was fortunate enough to get a spot on the program along with an unknown Rosemary Clooney. Rosie won that night [in 1950], and it’s funny: I can remember perfectly her performance of ”Golden Earrings,” but I still can’t recall the song I sang.
Our joint appearance was a shared beginning for us, as we both got signed to Columbia Records at the same time. We were the two new kids on the block, so to speak. One of my fondest memories of working with Rosie in those early years was our participation in a show called ”Songs for Sale.” The idea behind the program was to have us perform songs that were sent in by amateur songwriters. The lyrics of these forgettable tunes were on cue cards, but often the stagehands would hold them upside down and Rosie and I would just make up lyrics on our own (it was live TV back then). Shortly thereafter, Mitch Miller landed a 15-minute network radio show on CBS called ”Steppin’ Out,” which Rosie and I did together. It helped to introduce us to the public, and we were on our way to selling millions of records.
Through the years we maintained a wonderful brother-and-sister relationship in music and life. Take my word, not only was she Mother Earth, she was perfect. She was a natural singer and entertainer. I think the best description I ever heard of her came from the filmmaker Mike Nichols, who said she ”sings like Spencer Tracy acts.