The song of the day for Thursday, February 15, 2024, is “That Old Black Magic.”
Today we are remembering Harold Arlen, who was born 119 years ago on February 15, 1905. Of all the songwriters who contributed to the Great American Songbook, none is greater and has remained more current than Harold Arlen.
About This Song
“That Old Magic” was written by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer for the 1942 film Star Spangled Rhythm. One of the early great recordings was made in 1942 by Glenn Miller. The song has 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 (Brubeck on piano, Eugene Wright on bass, Joe Morello on drums) recorded “That Old Black Magic” live on August 28, 1962, at a concert on The Mall in Washington, D.C, at the invitation of President John F. Kennedy. Bennett and The Dave Brubeck Trio had both performed their sets and then did an impromptu improv session. “That Old Black Magic” was performed at that session.
For many years, the tapes of the concert were lost. However, soon after Brubeck died in 2012, the tapes were located, having been misfiled in the Classical music archives at Columbia Records. Bennett/Brubeck: The White House Sessions Live 1962 was released the following year.
“That Old Black Magic,” as well as Bennett/Brubeck: The White House Sessions Live 1962, is available on Apple Music.