The song of the day for Wednesday, April 24, 2019, is “I Wanna Be Around.”
About This Song
The story of “I Wanna Be Around” is legendary in the music business. Sadie Vimmerstedt, who lived in Youngstown, Ohio, was a big fan of Johnny Mercer’s music. She wrote the opening line ‘I want to be around to pick up the pieces when somebody breaks your heart’ and felt it sounded like a Johnny Mercer song. She mailed a letter to ‘Johnny Mercer, Songwriter, New York.’ The post office forwarded the letter to ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers), who got the letter to Mercer. Mercer wrote the melody himself and completed the lyrics for “I Wanna Be Around” in 1959 and asked Tony Bennett to record it, which he did in 1962. Mercer gave 50% of the profits to Ms. Vimmerstedt, which made her a wealthy woman and enabled her to retire and travel the world. It is one of the great songs in the American Songbook.
About This Version
Today I’m featuring the original 1962 recording of “I Wanna Be Around,” recorded for the 1963 album I Wanna Be Around. Marty Manning wrote the fine arrangement.
I Wanna Be Around…, a song by Tony Bennett on Spotify
“I Wanna Be Around,” as well as the album of the same name, is available from iTunes.