Midnight Sun began life in 1947 as an instrumental composed by Lionel Hampton and Sonny Burke. According to show biz lore, Johnny Mercer heard the song while driving from Los Angeles to Palm Springs and started the lyrics in his car. If that story isn’t true, it oughta be.
We begin with the first recording of the Mercerized song by June Christy in 1954:
Ella Fitzgerald recorded Midnight Sun on three occasions. This time, with the Nelson Riddle Orchestra:
Ella revisited the song in 1976 with a certain Canadian pianist.
Have I told you lately how much I love Oscar Peterson?
The lyricist also recorded this week’s song:
Abbey Lincoln. Say no more.
What would the Friday Cocktail Hour be without a jazz Instrumental version of the week’s song? This time, Lionel Hampton, and fellow vibes great Gary Burton.
I hope Hamp and Gary give you good, good good vibrations going into the weekend.
That’s it for this week. Let’s drink to Ella and Oscar and all the great music they made together and apart. It’s what Bogie, Betty, and Frank would want. Never argue with them.