The song of the day for Sunday, August 18, 2013 is “The Boulevard of Broken Dreams.”
About This Song
“The Boulevard of Broken Dreams” was written by Harry Warren and Al Dubin in 1933 for the movie Moulin Rouge. The song was introduced in the film by Constance Bennett. The song was recorded in the mid 1930s by Ted Weems and His Orchestra, Bing Crosby and many others, as well as an Art Tatum piano solo version from the mid 1950s.
About This Version
“The Boulevard of Broken Dreams” has a special place in the musical landscape of Tony Bennett’s career. In October 1949, Tony Bennett with his friend and musical director Tony Tamburello, recorded a demo record at Leslie Records with two songs: “The Boulevard of Broken Dreams” and “Crazy Rhythm.” Mitch Miller, who had just become the head of “pop singles” division at Columbia Records heard “The Boulevard of Broken Dreams” and immediately decided to sign the young singer to a contract with Columbia. Bennett recorded the song at his first recording session for Columbia in April 1950 and the rest, as they say, is history.
Today’s version was recorded some forty years after that first recording for Tony Bennett’s 1990 album Astoria: The Portrait of the Artist. This version, arranged by Jorge Calandrelli, is a quieter and more modern interpretation of this song, with a more introspective emotional arc that the early version. Like all the songs on this very fine album, it’s well worth a listen.
“The Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” as well as the album Astoria: The Portrait of the Artist, is available from iTunes.