The song of the day for Wednesday, March 18, 2020, is “Mood Indigo.”
About This Song
Duke Ellington wrote “Mood Indigo” in 1930; the lyrics by Irving Mills were added later. Originally titled “Dreamy Blues,” Ellington wrote this song, which is based on a theme by Barney Bigard, who is said to have learned it from his New Orleans clarinet teacher, Lorenzo Tio.
Ellington wrote the song specifically for “microphone transmission” and it was first played on a 1930 radio broadcast. Audiences loved the song, and so Irving Mills wrote the lyrics, changing the name of the song to “Mood Indigo.” The song has been widely recorded by instrumental and vocal artists, including Tony Bennett, Charles Mingus, Ella Fitzgerald, Thelonious Monk, Frank Sinatra, and Nat King Cole.
About This Version
Tony Bennett recorded “Mood Indigo” in 1999 for the album Bennett Sings Ellington: Hot & Cool, released on the centenary of Ellington’s birth in 1899. Jorge Calandrelli did the arrangement.
Bennett Sings Ellington Hot & Cool won the 2000 Grammy Award for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance.
“Mood Indigo,” as well as Bennett Sings Ellington Hot & Cool, is available from iTunes.