The song of the day for Friday, October 2, 2020, is “That Old Black Magic.”
About This Song
One of the great songs by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer, “That Old Black Magic” was written in 1942 and first recorded by Glenn Miller. It was used in the 1942 movie Star Spangled Rhythm. It’s been recorded many times and used in several films, including the 1956 film Bus Stop, where it was sung by Marilyn Monroe.
About This Version
Tony Bennett and The Dave Brubeck Trio recorded “That Old Black Magic” in 1962 in Washington DC. Both had been asked to perform at the White House in a concert in honor of that year’s Presidential Scholars. So many people wanted to attend that the concert was moved from the White Grounds to the park area by the Washington Monument. After Bennett and Brubeck did their separate sets, Bennett and Brubeck’s Trio returned for a completely unrehearsed improv session. “That Old Black Magic” was one of the songs they played that night. The concert tapes were thought long-lost, but were discovered in 2012 in the Columbia vaults in the classical music section. 2013 gave us Bennett & Brubeck: White House Sessions, Live 1962. It’s a wonderful album.
“That Old Black Magic,” as well as Bennett & Brubeck: The White House Sessions, Live 1962, is available from Apple Music.