The song of the day for Saturday, April 16, 2016 is “Smile.”
About This Song
Charlie Chaplin wrote “Smile” in 1936 for his last silent film, Modern Times, which shows Chaplin and his costar Paulette Goddard, walking hand-in-hand up the road as the sun rises and as this song plays, in one of the most iconic scenes ever filmed. The lyrics, which were added later, are by John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons. This song is a favorite of Tony Bennett’s and he sings “Smile” followed by “When You’re Smiling” at the end of his concerts.
About This Version
Today’s version of “Smile” is from The Movie Song Album. Recorded in 1965, it was arranged by Al Cohn. It’s my favorite of all of his recordings of this song.
“Smile,” as well as The Movie Song Album, is available from iTunes.
The composer of today’s song, Sir Charles Spencer Chaplin, better known as Charlie Chaplin, was born on April 16, 1889 in London to a poor family and knew much hardship early in his life. He was quite a talented child and began touring the music halls as an actor and comedian. At the age of 19, he signed a contract that took him to America, and at that point his career began to bloom. In 1914, he started working for the Keystone Studios, where he began to develop his Tramp persona, which he used in virtually all of his films.
In 1919, Chaplin co-founded United Artists, which gave him complete control over his films including The Kid, The Gold Rush and The Circus. Even after sound was introduced in the early 1930s, he refused to use dialogue in his film and out of that came two of his finest films: City Lights and Modern Times. In the 1940s, Chaplin fell under suspicion for communist sympathies and moved to Switzerland, where he lived for the rest of his life. Chaplin died on December 25, 1977.
He is remembered as one of the most creative early filmmakers who pushed the medium to artistic heights.
We have two videos for you today. First, is Tony Bennett singing “Smile” at the Hollywood Bowl on August 2, 2013, the day before his 87th birthday.
And finally, the very end of Modern Times, featuring today’s song with Charlie Chaplin and Paulette Goddard.