First performed by Lucille Ball & Paula Stewart (1960).
Popular versions by Peggy Lee (1963), Rosemary Clooney (1963), Bing Crosby & Rosemary Clooney (1963), Judy Garland (1963), Louis Armstrong (1964).
From the wiki: “‘Hey, Look Me Over’ was from the 1960 Broadway musical Wildcat, and was first performed by comedy actress Lucille Ball in what was the only Broadway appearance of her career.
“Co-producer and writer N. Richard Nash had envisioned the main character of Wildy as a woman in her late twenties, and was forced to rewrite the role when Lucille Ball expressed interest not only in playing it but financing the project as well. Desilu, the company co-owned with Ball by her (soon-to-be ex-) husband Desi Arnaz, ultimately invested $360,000 in the show in exchange for 36% of the net profits, the rights to the original cast recording (ultimately released by RCA Victor), and television rights for musical numbers to be included in a special entitled Lucy Goes to Broadway, a project that eventually was scrapped. Ball also was permitted to choose her leading man. Kirk Douglas’s salary demands and heavy film schedule eliminated him from the running. Gordon MacRae, Jock Mahoney, and Gene Barry were also considered before Ball selected Keith Andes.
First performed by Digby Wolfe (1964).
Also recorded by Frank Sinatra (1964).
Popular version by Peggy Lee (US #93/MOR #19 1965).
(Above): Opening credits clip from ‘Father Goose’.
From the wiki: “‘Pass Me By’ was composed by Cy Coleman with lyrics by Carolyn Leigh for the 1964 romantic comedy film Father Goose, set in World War II, starring Cary Grant. The film would go on to win an Academy Award for its screenplay. Although ignored by Oscar, the film’s theme song, ‘Pass Me By’, would later become a hit for Peggy Lee.
“Digby Wolfe, the original performer of ‘Pass Me By’, was an English television and film actor, screenwriter and university lecturer in dramatic writing. Among his writing credits was a stint in the early ’60s as a writer on the seminal TV satirical review That Was the Week That Was. After migrating the US in 1964, Wolfe expanded his television writing credits to include The Monkees, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, and The Munsters. He also became one of the staff writers for Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-in (for which he won an Emmy in 1968) and The Goldie Hawn Special (1978), as well as writing material for Shirley MacLaine, John Denver, Cher, and Jackie Mason.
First recorded by the Original Cast of Kismet (1953).
Based in part on “Quartet No. 2 in D Major (II)” by Alexander Borodin.
Hit versions by Peggy Lee (US #30/AUS #9 1953), Georgia Gibbs (B-side US #18 1954), The Kirby Stone Four (US #25 1958), Frank Sinatra (1959), Frank Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim (1967), Deodato (1973).
Also recorded by The Buenos Aires Classical Ensemble (1987).
From the wiki: “‘Baubles, Bangles & Beads’ is from the 1953 musical Kismet, credited to Robert Wright and George Forrest. Like all the music in that show, the melody was based on a work by classical composer Alexander Borodin – in this case the second theme of the second movement of his String Quartet in D Major.
“The best-selling version of the song was recorded by Peggy Lee in 1953, charting in 1954. Another popular cover from 1954 was recorded by Georgia Gibbs, released as the B-side to ‘Somebody Bad Stole De Wedding Bell’. A Kirby Stone Four re-make hit the Billboard Hot 100 in 1958, peaking at #25, and remains the favorite cover heard on many Adult Standard (MOR) radio stations.
“Frank Sinatra recorded the song twice: in 1959 with the Billy May Orchestra, for the album Come Dance with Me! (which won Grammy awards in 1960 for Album of the Year as well as Best Vocal Performance, Male, while arranger Billy May won the Grammy for Best Arrangement); and again in 1967 with a bossa nova arrangement recorded with guitarist Antonion Carlos Jobim. (Eumir) Deodato recorded an instrumental version for his hit LP, Deodato, in 1973.
“The most curious version mixed the scherzo of Borodin’s ‘String Quartet No. 2’ with a pop arrangement of ‘Baubles, Bangles & Beads’, under the name ‘Borodin, Bangles & Beads’, and arranged by the Argentine Ernesto Acher in 1987 on his album Juegos.”
First commercial release by Sue Raney & The Nelson Riddle Orchestra (November 1957).
First performed by Barbara Cook & Robert Preston (December 1957).
Hit versions by Anita Bryant (US #30 1959), Peggy Lee (UK #30 1961).
Also recorded by Sonny Rollins (1958), The Beatles (1962 & 1963).
From the wiki: “‘Till There Was You’ was written by Meredith Willson for his 1957 musical play (and, later, movie) The Music Man, the original cast album for which was released in 1957. The first recording of the song to be commercially released came even before the original cast album release in January 1958. Promotional copies of a 45-rpm single were released on November 26, 1957 (before the Broadway premiere on December 19) featuring The Nelson Riddle Orchestra and 17-year-old vocalist Sue Raney.
“Jazz saxophonist Sonny Rollins recorded an instrumental version of “Till There Was You” in 1958. Anita Bryant had the first chart success with the song, making the Billboard Top 40 in 1959. Peggy Lee charted UK Top-30 the same year in Great Britain in 1961 with her recording of “Till There Was You”.
“Paul McCartney, of The Beatles, was introduced to Peggy Lee’s music by his older cousin, Bett Robbins, and it would be the only Broadway song the group performed or would record. ‘Till There Was You’ became part of the Beatles’ repertoire in 1962 and was first recorded by them as part of their failed audition for Decca Records in January 1962. The George Martin-produced version, recorded in July 1963, would appear in the UK on With The Beatles, the group’s second album, in November 1963. ‘Till There Was You’ would also be the second of five songs The Beatles performed during their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show on February 9, 1964.
First recorded (as “In Other Words”) by Kaye Ballard (1954).
Hit versions by Eydie Gorme (US #20 1958), Joe Harnell (US #14 1962).
Also recorded by Peggy Lee (1960), Frank Sinatra (1964).
From the wiki: “‘Fly Me to the Moon’, originally titled ‘In Other Words’, was written in 1954 by Bart Howard and first recorded for a B-side by Kaye Ballard. In 1954, Bart Howard had already been pursuing a career in music for more than 20 years. He played piano to accompany cabaret singers but also wrote songs, with Cole Porter being his idol.
“In response to a publisher’s request for a simpler song, Bart Howard wrote a cabaret ballad in waltz time which he titled ‘In Other Words’. A publisher tried to make him change some lyrics from ‘fly me to the moon’ to ‘take me to the moon’ but Howard refused to do this. Many years later Howard commented that ‘… it took me 20 years to find out how to write a song in 20 minutes.’
“Kaye Ballard made the first commercial recording of ‘In Other Words’ in April 1954. Other versions of it would be recorded the next few years by other artists. The first chart appearance of ‘In Other Words’ was in 1958 when Eydie Gorme took the song into the Top 20, and it was nominated for a Grammy Award.
Originally recorded by Little Willie John (US #24/R&B #1 1956).
Other hit versions by Peggy Lee (US #8/UK #5 1958), Helen Shapiro (UK #38 1964), The McCoys (US #7/UK #44 1965), Madonna (DANCE #1/UK #6 1993).
Also recorded (as “Fiebre”) by La Lupe (1963), La Lupe (1968).
From the wiki: “The idea for the song was presented to Otis Blackwell (‘All Shook Up‘, ‘Don’t Be Cruel’, ‘Great Balls of Fire’) by an old friend, Eddie Cooley. Blackwell said: ‘Eddie Cooley was a friend of mine from New York and he called me up and said ‘Man, I got an idea for a song called Fever, but I can´t finish it. I had to write it under another name [‘John Davenport’] because, at that time, I was still under contract to Joe Davis.’
“Little Willie John reportedly disliked the song, but was persuaded to record it on March 1, 1956. His version was released in April 1956 and became a double-sided hit along with the top-ten R&B song ‘Letter from My Darling’. ‘Fever’ reached #1 for three weeks on the R&B Best Sellers chart. It also made the pop charts, peaking at #24 on the Billboard chart.
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