The song of the day for February 16, 2014 is “While We’re Young.”
About This Song
“While We’re Young” was composed by Alec Wilder with Morty Palitz, with lyrics by William Engvick, in 1944. It was first recorded in 1944 by the Fred Waring Singers and again in 1949 by Meredith Willson (who wrote The Music Man) and his Orchestra. Peggy Lee also recorded the song in 1949, but not to Wilder’s liking. Marian McPartland quotes Wilder as telling Miss Lee that “The next time you come to the bridge (of the song), jump off!” “While We’re Young” remains popular in the American songbook, having been recently recorded by Jane Monheit and Ben Sidron.
We choose “While We’re Young” in the memory of Alec Wilder, who was born in this day, February 16, in 1907.
About This Version
“While We’re Young” was the first Alec Wilder song that Tony Bennett recorded. Bennett’s producer, Mitch Miller, attended The Eastman School of Music in the same time period, which may explain why Bennett first recorded “While We’re Young” in 1951. This arrangement is by Percy Faith. Tony Bennett went on to record several of Wilder’s best songs, including “It’s So Peaceful in the Country” and “A Child Is Born.”
“While We’re Young,” as well as all the songs on The Columbia Singles, Volume 1, is available from iTunes.