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Tag Archives: Frank Sinatra

“Time After Time” – by Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn

Jule Styne is best known for writing the music for Funny GirlGentlemen Prefer Blondes, and Gypsy. He also wrote the music for “Let It Snow? Let It Snow! Let It Snow!,” with lyrics by Sammy Cahn. Many of the lyrics for his songs were by Sammy Cahn. They particularly worked together, writing for Frank Sinatra, in the late 1940s. Another song they wrote together that became famous for Doris Day is “It’s Magic.” And one that was a hit for Sinatra was “Time After Time.”

According to JazzStandards.com (an invaluable resource for songs written during this era), the melody for “Time After Time” was first written by Styne during a party. Styne was trying to create a melody that could pass as a song written by Jerome Kern. Sammy Cahn later put lyrics to it and Sinatra recorded it in 1946. In 1947, it appeared in MGM’s It Happened in Brooklyn, starring Frank Sinatra, Peter Lawford and Kathryn Grayson.

I’ve had this song in my head for a month, now. It all started when I got a movie from the library, From Time to Time, which has absolutely nothing to do with the song, but that repeat of the word “time” always brings the song to mind and I have been singing and humming it all the time, all over the place, everywhere I go. In the shower, cooking dinner, browsing the aisles of stores, serfing the internet. I even catch myself singing it softly to myself while talking to people! It’s getting to be a problem.

So, my idea idea is that if I engage in an orgy of listening to this song, I will make myself so thoroughly tired of it and familiar with it that it will be purged from my mind. I hope it works.

But because I listened to so many different versions (I even found one by Keanu Reeves!) I had trouble deciding which ones to include in this post. I also accidentally discovered that there is another song called “Time After Time,” written by Cyndi Lauper, which has nothing to do with the original song. But if you simply type in “Time After Time” on youtube or google or any search engine, that is the song that comes up first. The 1979 film Time After Time is what comes up next,

But to begins things, I knew I had to include the version first recorded by Sinatra in 1946.

Here, Kathryn Grayson introduces the song in It Happened in Brooklyn. The film is a musical, post-WWII romance about three people who couldn’t wait for the war to be over so they could get back to their lives, but now find that life’s not so hot and aspire to become musicians and, in Grayson’s case, an opera singer. All the songs are written by Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn.

I particularly like this version, sung by Sarah Vaughan as a ballad with pianist Teddy Wilson in 1946.

One can never go wrong with Ella Fitzgerald. This version was recorded in 1966, I believe.

Are you tired of the song yet? I am not as familiar with June Christy, but she began her career in big band with the The Stan Kenton Orchestra and went solo in the 1950s-60s. She recorded this version in 1963, accompanied with a flute and bass guitar and I find it rather refreshing.

 
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Posted by on August 28, 2015 in Music

 

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Why Are Songs About Spring So Sad?

Today is the first day of spring, a wonderful day of new life and new growth. So, I thought what could be better than to celebrate this day of new life and new growth than to find some songs about spring. I thought there would be some joyous songs, expressing new love or how lovely nature is or something similarly upbeat. What I found instead was an impressive barrage of downbeat songs about loneliness and heartbreak. Who knew that spring could bring out more misanthropes than Christmas?

Here is a song by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, called “Spring is Here,” which sounds like a nice sentiment, until you realize that they are writing about how spring may be here, but they don’t notice because they are all alone. I really like this version, sung by Frank Sinatra. I generally prefer his earlier stuff to his later work; he seems to get too slick in his performance later, but has a touching pathos early on.

And here is another lovely, lonely, heartbreaking song called “Spring Will Be A Little Late This Year,” by Frank Loesser (“Guys and Dolls,” “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying”). It is sung by the great Sarah Vaughan. This song details how the singer has been left by their love, so now spring isn’t coming, or is coming more slowly.

Now this song is trying to have it both ways, though on the whole it is a more positive song. “April Showers,” made famous by Al Jolson, though sung here by Sinatra. Apparently, April sucks, but at least the second half of spring gets better. The rain and troubles bring flowers in May. I think it is significant that this song was written in 1921. There was a depression going during 1920-1921, to be followed by a relatively quick bounce back and the roaring twenties.

If you go to youtube and type in Ella Fitzgerald and spring, about a half dozen songs come up: “Spring Is Here,” “Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most,” “I’ve Got the Spring Fever Blues.” I was wondering if “It Might as Well be Spring,” from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s State Fair should count as a spring song. It’s not technically about spring. The singer is in love and all in a flutter and restless and that “it might as well be spring,” but it’s not actually spring, though at least the singer is in a relatively happy state and new love is being born, which is a sentiment consonant with new birth in spring.

Finally, I did manage to locate one genuine happy springtime song, meant to be sung specifically during spring (though it is not a Jazz standard or standard of The Great American Songbook). It is from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers: “Spring, Spring, Spring.” Six brothers and their girlfriends welcome the coming of spring after a very, very long winter in the mountains.

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2015 in Great American Songbook

 

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