The song of the day for Wednesday, August 9, 2017 is “Trav’lin’ Light.”
About This Song
Today’s song, “Trav’lin’ Light,” was written in 1942 by Trummy Young and Jimmy Mundy, with lyrics by Johnny Mercer. This wonderful song was first recorded by Paul Whiteman with Billie Holiday on vocals. It’s a wonderful, classic Mercer lyric and the tune is lovely. In addition to this recording, this song has been recorded by Anita O’Day, Peggy Lee, Queen Latifah, Shirley Horn and Sonny Rollins.
About This Version
Tony Bennett recorded “Trav’lin Light” in 1966 for album of Billie Holiday songs: Tony Bennett On Holiday.
“Trav’lin’ Light,” as well as Tony Bennett On Holiday, is available from iTunes.
Today’s song is dedicated to the memory of singer Barbara Cook, who died today at the age of 89 from respiratory failure. Next to Tony Bennett, she is my favorite singer in the world. Miss Cook took Broadway by storm as an ingenue in the 1950s and 60s and was known for her starring role in The Music Man on Broadway, opposite Robert Preston. Suffering from depression and alcoholism, Barbara Cook disappeared from the public for some years. In the middle 1970s, Luciano Pavarotti’s manager heard her singing in a small club and helped her mount a “comeback” concert at Carnegie Hall in 1975. Her career resurrected, she release many recordings, the last of which, Barbara Cook & Michael Feinstein – Cheek To Cheek: Live From Feinstein’s At Loews Regency, was released in 2011.
ABC News noted that her last meal was vanilla ice cream. For those of you who don’t remember, “Ice Cream” was sung by Miss Cook in one of great early successes on Broadway: She Love Me. Here she is, singing it live on French TV in 1979:
Rest in peace, Barbara Cook. I hope that you are finally trav’lin’ light.
New York Times obituary for Barbara Cook