Covering for You, 1950s Edition.
January 13, 2011 § Leave a comment
That’s His Covers & Hers Covers. Bwap-wap.
I recently saw the film The Joker Is Wild, which won an Academy Award for “All The Way” by Sammy Cahn & Jimmy Van Heusen. The film itself is sort of relentlessly sad; Joe E. Louis goes from alarmingly self-destructive in one way to alarmingly self-destructive in another until he’s more or less out of friends to keep digging him out of things. Sometimes it’s a little too on the nose in terms of just how steadily he declines, and the movie ends with two Franks, one in the street and one playing the Ghost of Livers Past in the storefront window, strains of a variation of his old song trembling in the background. Aside from the snappy “You’d make a perfect stranger,” their dialogue goes a little something like, “You really think you’re going to find happiness in the bottom of a bottle, Frank?” “Just look at me, Frank, what else have I got?” (Though at no point does one Frank say to the other, “Maybe I’ll dance the Black Swan for you!”) I don’t want to say the song makes the movie, but the song makes the movie.
The preview’s here, which you know is good if it’s got “the romance of a joker who has two queens wild about him.” O boy, O boy.
Anyway, the melody is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever heard, the kind that used to be written when singing well meant singing challenging tunes well, & this tune is just enough of a challenge, mostly in the way it sounds so simple. Suffice it to say it was a couple of hours before I could sing it without getting a little weepy. This was recorded the day I arranged it so it isn’t entirely under my fingers, but I’m impatient so here you are.