Happy Birthday, Harold Arlen! In honor of his birthday, the song of the day for February 15, 2013 is The Man That Got Away.
About The Man That Got Away
This song, one of this author’s personal favorites, was written by Harold Arlen with lyrics by Ira Gershwin. (I have an iTunes playlist with a dozen different recordings of this song.) The Man That Got Away was written in 1953 for the 1954 A Star Is Born, which is one of this author’s favorite movies. Ever. The scene with Judy Garland singing the song in an after-hours bar is legendary and for good reason. There were over 40 takes filmed, with three different costumes and several different sets, from September 1953 to February 1954 with several different cameramen. The final result is glorious and is, for me, the greatest musical performance by a singer in a film, ever.
I agree with Alec Wilder regarding this song: “This is a true Arlen song. If you are good rememberer, try to think of anyone else who might have written it. I don’t see who it could have been but Arlen.”
About This Version
Tony Bennett recorded the song for his 1961 album with Ralph Sharon, Tony Sings For Two. While many male singers changed the man to the girl or the gal that got away, Bennett records the lyrics as written, which we really appreciate. Other than Judy Garland, I think that Bennett’s recording is one of the finest for this song.
The Man That Got Away, as well as the full Tony Sings for Two album, is available from iTunes.