The song of the day for Friday, April 17, 2015 is “I Wished On The Moon.”
About This Song
Written in 1935 by Ralph Rainger and Dorothy Parker (yes, that Dorothy Parker), this song was first recorded that year by Ruth Etting. Bing Crosby sang it in The Big Broadcast of 1936. Other recordings include those by Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Mel Tormé, Billie Holiday, Art Pepper and Tony Bennett.
About This Version
“I Wished On The Moon” is the ninth song on our album of the month, Tony Bennett On Holiday. I love this arrangement. Tony starts singing the verse, with just Sharon on piano. As he starts the chorus, the strings come in, softly, but the piano is always dominant. It’s such a perfect sound for this album and this song.
“I Wished On The Moon,” as well as Tony Bennett On Holiday, is available from iTunes.
About Billie Holiday’s Version
Billie Holiday recorded “I Wished On The Moon” four times: 1935, 1955, 1957 and 1958 (a live festival recording). All of these versions are great, but I chose the earliest; Billie had just turned 20. This was her fifth recording session and was held on July 2, 1935. In addition to “I Wished On The Moon (MX B17766-1),” they also recorded “What A Little Moonlight Can Do,” “Miss Brown To You” and “A Sunbonnet Blue (And A Yellow Straw Hat).”
Like some of her very early recordings, the first chorus was instrumental and she sang starting with the second chorus. The musicians for this recording included Teddy Wilson (piano), Benny Goodman (clarinet), Ben Webster (tenor sax), Roy Eldridge (guitar), John Truehart (guitar), John Kirby (bass) and Cozy Cole (drums).
“I Wished On The Moon,” as well as Lady Day: The Complete Billie Holiday On Columbia 1933-1944, Vol. 1, is available from iTunes.