The song of the day for Wednesday, January 27, 2016 is “The Way You Look Tonight.”
About This Song
Today’s song, “The Way You Look Tonight,” was written by Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields for the 1936 film Swing Time, where it was introduced by Fred Astaire.
The song won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for the year; lyricist Dorothy Fields was the first woman to win an Oscar for songwriting. She later remarked that
The first time Jerry played that melody for me I went out and started to cry. The release absolutely killed me. I couldn’t stop, it was so beautiful.
“The Way You Look Tonight” is a magnificent love song that has found a strong position as a jazz standard, with recordings by Bing Crosby, Billie Holiday, Mel Tormé and Frank Sinatra.
About This Version
Tony Bennett has recorded this song several times, both as a solo and on his Duets album. Up until last year, my favorite version was the one he did for the film My Best Friend’s Wedding, which is included on Rarities, Outtakes and Other Delights, Vol. 2.
But even that wonderful recording is, for me, eclipsed by the exquisite recording he made with Bill Charlap for their 2015 album The Silver Lining: The Songs of Jerome Kern.
“The Way You Look Tonight,” as well as The Silver Lining: The Songs of Jerome Kern, is available from iTunes.
Jerome David Kern was born 131 years ago today on January 27, 1885. In reviewing songs of his over this month, I’ve come to appreciate his work more and more and, like many fans, am so happy that Mr. Bennett and Mr. Charlap decided to do an album of these wonderful songs. Like many songs in the American Songbook, and more than most, the songs of Jerome Kern are as relevant, as beautiful and meaningful to us today as they were when written.