The song of the day for Wednesday, October 3, 2013 is “That Old Black Magic.”
About This Song
“That Old Black Magic” was written in 1942 by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer for the 1942 movie Star Spangled Rhythm. The first recording was by Glen Miller (with “A Pink Cocktail For a Blue Lady” on the flip side), which was followed with recordings by many great artists, including Margaret Whiting, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Judy Garland and even Johnny Mercer. Marilyn Monroe sang the song in the film version of Bus Stop in 1956.
About This Version
Today’s version is from the recently released Bennett & Brubeck: The White House Sessions, Live 1962. The tape from this concert had been lost in the vaults at Columbia for years, though “That Old Black Magic” had been released in 1971 on Dave Brubeck Summit Sessions. The tape was located in the classical music section at Sony last December and was released as an album in May, 2013 and was number one on the jazz charts for several months; even today it’s still number four for jazz vocals.
This song was a short improv session with Tony Bennett, Dave Brubeck, Eugene Wright and Joe Morello. The four songs they did that August night in 1962 are really glorious and bear for repeated listening.
It’s a Harold Arlen kind of week.