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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Try a Little Tenderness

By Jimmy Campbell, Reg Connelly & Harry M. Woods
1932

A song that has truly spanned generations. Introduced as a sweet love ballad by the Ray Noble orchestra in 1932, it became best known to later audiences due to the blockbuster 1966 single from Otis Redding that literally reinvented the tune as an R&B number. This version would famously be used in the 1980s film Pretty in Pink, and was recently sampled by Kanye West and Jay-Z for their 2011 record, "Otis". Talk about a song transcending the ages!

Lyrics:

She may be weary,
Women do get weary,
Wearing that same shabby dress.
But when she's weary,
Try a little tenderness.

You know she's waiting,
Just anticipating,
Things that she'll never possess.
But while she's waiting,
Try just a little tenderness.

It might be sentimental,
But she has her greaves and cares,
And soft words spoken gently
Makes it easier to bear.

She won't regret it,
Women don't forget it.
Love is their whole happiness.
But it's all so easy,
Try a little tenderness.

Recorded By:

Bing Crosby
Ruth Etting
Michael Buble
Three Dog Night
Ella Fitzgerald


Thursday, April 12, 2012

What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?

By Michel Legrand, Alan Bergman & Marilyn Bergman
1969

Legrand was one of the most prominent pop composers of the late 1960s and 1970s, and this was one of his finest. Written for the 1969 film, The Happy Ending, it was introduced by Michael Dees. It was also nominated for the Oscar for Best Song that year, but lost out to Burt Bacharach and Hal David's "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head". This was one of the last of the great Best Song nominees in the classic songbook tradition. It also happened to be my parents' wedding song...

Lyrics:

What are you doing the rest of your life?
North and south and east and west of your life
I have only one request of your life
That you spend it all with me

All the seasons and the times of your days
All the nickels and the dimes of your days
Let the reasons and rhymes of your days
All begin and end with me

I want to see your face
In every kind of light
In fields of dawn
And forests of the night
And when you stand before the candles on a cake
Oh, let me be the one to hear the silent wish you make

Those tomorrow's waiting deep in your eyes
And the world of love you keep in your eyes
I'll awaken what's asleep in your eyes
It may take a kiss or two

Through all of my life
Summer, winter, spring and fall of my life
All I ever will recall of my life
Is all of my life with you.

Recorded By:

Frank Sinatra
Barbra Streisand
Sarah Vaughan
Chris Botti & Sting
Dusty Springfield

Monday, April 9, 2012

Tiptoe Through the Tulips

By Joe Burke & Al Dubin
1929

If you think it was Tiny Tim who introduced this song, then think again. This was a tried-and-true standard introduced by "The Crooning Troubadour" Nick Lucas in the movie Gold Diggers of Broadway. Lucas' version also hit number one on the pop charts and stayed for the 10 weeks. It became one of the most popular tunes of the early '30s, recorded many times. Novelty act Tiny Tim (as well as The Human Society) reintroduced it as an odd relic in the late 1960s. Tim's recording was also recently included to spooky effect in the 2011 horror film Insidious.

Lyrics:

Tiptoe through the window
By the window, that is where I'll be
Come tiptoe through the tulips with me

Oh, tiptoe from the garden
By the garden of the willow tree
And tiptoe through the tulips with me

Knee deep in flowers we'll stray
We'll keep the showers away
And if I kiss you in the garden, in the moonlight
Will you pardon me?
And tiptoe through the tulips with me

Recorded By:

Tiny Tim
The Human Society
Jean Goldkette
Johnny Marvin
Roy Fox

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

What Will I Tell My Heart?

By Jack Lawrence, Peter Tinturin & Irving Gordon

1938


A song draped in controversy! Lawrence (pictured) wrote the lyric based on a title suggested by his partner Tinturin. What Tinturin didn't mention was that he had gotten the title originally from Gordon. So when the song became a huge hit, Gordon sued through ASCAP and got part credit for the song. Due to Lawrence's connections at Decca Records, the song was introduced by Andy Kirk and His Clouds of Joy before they even had a publisher signed up.

Lyrics:

I'll try to explain to friends, dear,
The reason we two are apart;
I know what to tell our friends, dear
But what will I Tell My Heart

It's easy to say to strangers,
That we played a game from the start,
It's easy to lie, to strangers,
But what will I tell my heart

When I smile to hide all the tears inside,
what an ache it will bring;
Then I'll wander home to a telephone
that forgot how to ring

I could say you'll soon be back dear
To fool the whole town may be smart
I'll tell them you'll soon be back dear
But what will I tell my heart?

Recorded By:

Ella Fitzgerald
Fats Domino
Vanessa Williams
Joe Williams
Bing Crosby

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