The song of the day for Wednesday, January 28, 2015 is “That Old Black Magic.”
About This Song
One of the great songs by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer, “That Old Black Magic” was written in 1942 and first recorded by Glenn Miller. It was also used in the 1942 movie Star Spangled Rhythm. It’s been recorded many times and used in several films, including the 1956 film Bus Stop, where it was sung by Marilyn Monroe.
About This Version
While Tony Bennett has recorded “That Old Black Magic” several times, our version today is the first, recorded in 1962 for his unreleased album On The Glory Road. The album was made available in the 2011 Complete Collection box set and is now, thankfully, also available on iTunes. The song was arranged and conducted by Ralph Sharon.
For months now, I’d had a disc on reserve at Netflix: a 1965 Bell Telephone Hour special on the music of Harold Arlen. There were some really wonderful moments: Leslie Uggams and the Duke Ellington Orchestra were outstanding. But, for the most part, the songs were poorly arranged and there were some questionable dance numbers. So, today I return to some Harold Arlen sung by a master: Tony Bennett. And yes, I will confess to featuring two Harold Arlen songs in three days. But I can never get enough of the music of Harold Arlen, especially sung by Tony Bennett.
“That Old Black Magic,” as well as On The Glory Road, is available from iTunes.