Body and Soul is one of the oldest songs I’ve used in this feature. It was written in 1930 by Johnny Green and a cast of a thousand lyricists. I’m kidding: the lyrics are by Edward Heyman, Robert Sour, and Frank Eyton. It was originally a show tune but soon became a beloved standard.
The first version I ever heard was by Billie Holiday. That’s as good a place to start as any:
Louis Prima grew up in the French Quarter when it was an Italian neighborhood. He cut the song with his then wife Keely Smith:
Anita O’Day. Say no more.
I’d never heard Jackie Wilson’s take on Body and Soul before. He’s backed by a full orchestra and sings his heart out. Of course, he always sang his heart out.
Time to get Sassy with Sarah Vaughan and a star-studded edition of the Oscar Peterson Quartet:
As Tony Bennett’s voice grew raspier and more limited in range, he turned to recording duets. I think you recognize the chick with the heavy black eyeliner.
Finally, what would a Friday Cocktail Hour be without a jazz instrumental version of this week’s song? John Coltrane. Say no more. I should stop saying say no more so much. Say no more.
That’s all for this week. Pour yourself a stiff one and toast the end of this frigid week. It’s what Bogie, Betty, and Frank would want. Never argue with them.