10 November 2012

I Still Suits Me

"I Still Suits Me" (a.k.a. "Ah Still Suits Me") was written by Jerome Kern (music) and Oscar Hammerstein II (lyrics) and published in 1936.
This song was was added to Showboat for the 1936 movie adaptation, where it was sung by Paul Robeson and Hattie McDaniel.
Paul Robeson also recorded this song for phonograph records.

The recording heard here is performed by Bing Crosby and Lee Wiley, with orchestra directed by Victor Young.

18 September 2012

April in Portugal

"April in Portugal" is also named "The Whisp'ring Serenade". The music and lyrics were written by Raul Ferrão as a fado named "Coimbra", about the city of that name. In 1947, English lyrics written by Jimmy Kennedy (1902-1984) were set to the music, though many of the most popular versions of the song were instrumentals.
Bing's album Holiday in Europe was released in 1961, preceded by 101 Gang Songs in 1960, and followed by by Sing Along With Bing Crosby And His Friends in 1961.
Bing Crosby with Malcolm Lockyer (1923-1976) and His Orchestra, recorded on 8 May 1961 in Los Angeles, for the Holiday In Europe album - produced by Project Records and leased to US Decca.
Jimmy Kennedy is also the co-writer of:

Did Your Mother Come from Ireland

Harbor Lights

28 August 2012

Harbor Lights

"Harbor Lights" is a popular song by Hugh Williams (pseudonym for Will Grosz, 1894-1939) with lyrics by Henryk Szpilman and translated by Jimmy Kennedy (1902-1984). This song was originally sung in Polish by Irena Santor as "Portowe Swiatla", and then by Frances Langford in 1937, and was published again in 1950.
The song has been recorded by many artists; charting versions were recorded by Sammy Kaye, Guy Lombardo, Bing Crosby, Ray Anthony, Ralph Flanagan, Elvis Presley, The Platters (peaking at #8 on the Billboard charts in 1960), and Ken Griffin. Other versions were recorded by The Ink Spots, Lawrence Welk, Willie Nelson, Vera Lynn and Jon Rauhouse.
The Bing Crosby recording was released by Decca Records. The record first reached the Billboard charts on November 3, 1950 and lasted 11 weeks, peaking at #10.

Jimmy Kennedy is also the co-writer of:

Did Your Mother Come from Ireland

April in Portugal

26 July 2012

And You'll Be Home

And You'll Be Home, from the Paramount Picture Mr. Music, written by James Van Heusen (1913-1990) and Johnny Burke (1908-1964).
On the recording for Decca, Bing is accompanied by the Ken Lane Singers.
"Bing Crosby reluctantly sings 'And You'll Be Home' in Mr. Music (1950). The cast of the show and the audience join in."
Another message that mentions James Van Heusen: The Second Time Around

09 June 2012

It's Been A Long, Long Time

"It's Been A Long, Long Time" is a 1945 popular song that became a major hit at the end of World War II. The lyrics are written from the perspective of a person welcoming home his or her spouse or lover at the end of the war. The music was written by Jule Styne (1905-1994), the lyrics by Sammy Cahn (1913-1993).
A recording by Harry James with vocal by Kitty Kallen reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on 24 November 1945. An alternate version by Bing Crosby accompanied by The Les Paul Trio was also working its way up the charts. It replaced the James' version at #1 on 8 December 1945. Crosby's lasted a week at #1, ousted by Sammy Kaye's "Chickery Chick." The Harry James recording then returned to the top spot on 22 December for another week. In 1945 it was standard practice in the record industry for labels to release "competing" versions of hit songs.
Crosby's version features some memorable guitar by Les Paul (1915-2009), who recalled in an interview printed in Mojo magazine: "Bing was a sucker for guitar and that particular song was a case of you don't have to play a lot of notes, you just have to play the right notes."

It was recorded by Les Paul and Mary Ford for Columbia Records. In 1975 it was recorded by Chet Atkins with Les Paul on their album Chester and Lester.

Bing Crosby and Les Paul perform "It's Been A Long, Long Time":

22 May 2012

The Second Time Around

The Second Time Around is a song with words by Sammy Cahn (1913-1993) and music by Jimmy Van Heusen (1913-1990). It was introduced in the 1960 film High Time, sung by Bing Crosby with Henry Mancini conducting his orchestra, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song (losing to "Never on Sunday"). It was the last song Bing Crosby introduced that would be nominated for an Oscar for Best Song.
Its theme is captured by its first two lines:
Love is lovelier the second time around,
Still wonderful with both feet on the ground.

24 April 2012

Y'all Come

"Y'all Come" (originally titled "You-All Come") was written and recorded by Arlie Duff a.k.a. "The Singin' Schoolteacher" (1924-1996), and was a country hit for him in 1953. Bing's recording for Decca Records is with the Cass County Boys, with orchestra directed by Perry Botkin. It was a hit in the United States. It was preceded by "Hush-a-bye" in 1953, and followed by "Down By The Riverside" (with Gary Crosby) in 1954.
"Y'all Come" was also recorded by Glen Campbell, Jim and Jesse, Dolly Parton, and Porter Wagoner.