The song of the day for Tuesday, December 28, 2021, is “Bewitched .”
About This Song
“Bewitched” (more commonly called by its full name “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered”) was written by Richard Rodgers and Larry Hart for the 940 musical Pal Joey, where it was introduced by Vivienne Segal. Notable recordings are by Benny Goodman, Mel Tormé, Oscar Peterson, Ella Fitzgerald, and Frank Sinatra. Alec Wilder admired the lyric and the verse, but found the song “notey.” In spite of being notey, it’s a cornerstone of the American Songbook.
About This Version
Tony Bennett recorded “Bewitched” on October 28, 1961, with just Ralph Sharon on piano. They booked the studio and recorded 16 songs in one afternoon, in one or takes for each song. Bennett relates in his autobiography The Good Life:
I always wanted to be unpredictable, and so for my next project, I decided to go in the opposite direction from the big orchestral albums I’d been doing lately and cut an intimate piano-vocal album with Ralph Sharon. We booked time in the studio and pored through music books, trying one tune after another. The arrangements were spontaneous, and we finished each song in one or two takes. In one afternoon we laid down sixteen tunes—which must be some kind of record—twelve of which made it onto the album, which became 1961’s Tony Sings for Two, Mitch Miller showed up at the start of these sessions, furious that I was really going through with it. When he saw that there was no dissuading me, he turned to Frank Laico and said, “I’m leaving. I can’t support this.” Tony Sings for Two turned out to be one of my finest records ever.
Tony Sings For Two was not released until 1961. It’s one of Bennett’s finest albums.
“Bewitched ,” as well as Tony Sings For Two is available on Apple Music.