The song of the day for Sunday, August 31, 2014 is “Something To Live For.”
About This Song
“Something to Live For” was written in 1939 by Billy Strayhorn and Duke Ellington; it was their first collaboration as composers and the first (of many) of a Strayhorn song to be recorded by Ellington’s orchestra. The lyric of the song was based on a poem that Strayhorn had written as a teenager. In addition to the Duke Ellington and His Orchestra recording, it has also been recorded by Lena Horne, Ella Fitzgerald, Art Farmer and Nine Simone, among others. Ella Fitzgerald has said that it’s her favorite song.
About This Version
Today’s recording of “Something To Live For” was an outtake for Tony Bennett’s 1971 album Love Story and was unreleased until the 2011 Complete Collection. The arrangement is by Peter Matz. He recorded it again a year later for the album Summer of ’42, with John Bunch on piano, but the song was cut from that album as well. They are both lovely recordings and I’m happy that they are now available.
I wrote about Billy Strayhorn today on my new blog, Just Truth and Beauty. At the end of the post are links to learn more about Strayhorn’s life and career.
Billy Strayhorn was born on November 29, 1915; I look forward to the centennial celebrations of his life and accomplishments. Storyville Records is releasing a seven-CD, plus a DVD, box set of Strayhorn compositions: Billy Strayhorn: Out of the Shadows. This video describes the contents of the set, which is already available in Europe and will be available in the US in October.
“Something To Live For,” as well as the other treasures on Rarities, Outtakes and Other Delights, Volume 2, is available from iTunes.