The song of the day for Friday, June 27, 2014 is “Happiness Is a Thing Called Joe.”
About This Song
“Happiness Is a Thing Called Joe” was written by Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg for the 1943 film version of Cabin In The Sky, starring Ethel Waters, Eddie Anderson and Lena Horne. Ethel Waters introduced the song in the film. Interestingly, the song was not part of the original 1940 stage version of Cabin In The Sky. The song was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song, but lost to “You’ll Never Know” by Harry Warren and Mack Gordon; other songs nominated that year include “You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To” (Cole Porter), “That Old Black Magic” (Arlen and Johnny Mercer) and “My Shining Hour” (also by Arlen and Mercer). I only mention these in admiration of the incredible quality of songwriting for the movies in those years.
Notable recordings of “Happiness Is a Thing Called Joe” include this fine one by Tony Bennett, Ethel Waters, Judy Garland, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee and Abbey Lincoln.
About This Version
Tony Bennett recorded “Happiness Is a Thing Called Joe” in 1959 for the album Tony Sings For Two, released in 1961. As with all of the songs on this album, it’s just Tony Bennett and Ralph Sharon on piano. I know I say this about many of Tony Bennett’s albums, but this one really is one of my favorites.
“Happiness Is a Thing Called Joe,” as well as the album Tony Sings For Two, is available from iTunes.