The song of the day for Saturday, September 28, 2013 is “Where Or When.”
About This Song
“Where Or When” was written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart in 1937 for the Broadway musical Babes In Arms. Note that the Broadway musical bears little, if any, resemblance to the 1938 film that starred Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney. Only two songs of the Rodgers and Hart songs were used in the film; thankfully “Where Or When” was one of those songs, though only a brief portion of the song is heard.
In the Broadway production, the song was sung by a young couple (played by Ray Heatherton and Mitzi Green) who had just met, fallen in love on sight and sing this song about how they seem to recognize each other, but cannot remember where, or when.
The song has been widely recorded since it was written from Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Mel Tormé, Ella Fitzgerald and Dinah Shore to Dave Brubeck, Art Tatum, Gene Krupa and Duke Ellington.
About This Version
Today’s song is from the superb album Tony Sings For Two. The entire album was recorded in a single day with just Bennett and Ralph Sharon at the CBS 30th Street Studio. While recorded in October, 1959, it wasn’t released until 1961. Tony tells this story in his autobiography, The Good Life:
I always wanted to be unpredictable, and so for my next project, I decided to go in the opposite direction from the big orchestral albums I’d been doing lately and cut an intimate album piano-vocal album with Ralph Sharon. We booked time in the studio and pored through music books, trying one tune after another. The arrangements were spontaneous, and we finished each song in one or two takes. In one afternoon we laid down sixteen tunes–which must be some kind of record–twelve of which made it into the album, which became the 1961’s Tony Sings For Two. Mitch Miller showed up at the start of these sessions, furious that I was really going through with it. When he saw that there was no dissuading me, he turned to Frank Laico and said, “I’m leaving. I can’t support this.” Tony Sings For Two turned out to be one of my finest albums ever.
In addition to “Where Or When,” this album contains my favorite recording of one of my favorite songs: “The Man That Got Away.” There really isn’t a false moment on the entire album: it’s a brilliant album by two great musicians.
“Where Or When,” as well as the album Tony Sings For Two, is available from iTunes and Amazon.com.