The song of the day for Saturday, September 27, 2014 is “Without a Song.”
About This Song
Today’s song was composed by Vincent Youmans, with lyrics by Billy Rose and Edward Eliscu. It was written for the 1929 musical Great Day. “Without a Song” has been recorded by artists ranging from Perry Como to Mario Lanza to Frank Sinatra. Great Day was set in 19th century Louisiana; as a result some of the lyrics have been changed over time to remove language that is now found objectionable.
About This Version
Tony Bennett has recorded “Without a Song” three times. His first recording was for the 1958 album Tony, followed by the recording with the Count Basie Orchestra for the 1959 album In Person! Today’s version is from his legendary 1962 concert at Carnegie Hall, arranged by Ralph Sharon.
The composer of “Without A Song,” Vincent Youmans was born in New York, NY on September 27, 1898. He was born to a prosperous family and grew up on Central Park West and later Larchmont. Youmans originally attended Yale with the thought of becoming an engineer, but dropped out to become a runner on Wall Street. His interest in theatre began during his service in World War I when he produced shows for the troops.
After the war, he became a song plugger and later served as a rehearsal pianist for Victor Herbert. He wrote several musicals in the 1920s, becoming most famous for No, No, Nanette, the score of which includes “Tea For Two” and “I Want To Be Happy.” He died young, at the age of 47, from tuberculosis.
“Without a Song,” as well as Tony Bennett at Carnegie Hall, is available from iTunes.
And for our Saturday YouTube viewing pleasure, I’m happy to present this video of Tony Bennett singing this song on television in 1959. While the quality of the video isn’t that great, I think you’ll enjoy it quite a lot.