For Once In My Life

As Shapiro said earlier, it’s DAT. And dat means I didn’t feel like writing anything other than my regular Friday features. Since it’s dat day, we can start drinking early. What’s a little day drinking among friends? If you’re a Who Dat you may have never stopped drinking after last night’s game in which the Buffalo Bills pantsed the New Orleans Saints. Ugh, just ugh.

On with the show, this is it.

For Once In My Life was written in 1965 by Ron Miller and Orlando Murden for Motown’s publishing company. It was conceived as a ballad but didn’t become a big hit until Stevie Wonder struck gold with an up tempo arrangement.

We begin with a singer who knows his way around a ballad, Anthony Benedetto d/b/a Tony Bennett:

Stevie Wonder took ownership of the song in 1968.

Here’s James Brown funking up For Once In My Life. Good gawd, y’all.

Gladys Knight is one of my favorite chick singers. Her version is a real pip:

Desmond Dekker was hot when he recorded this week’s song with a modified ska beat.

Finally, Tony and Stevie got together and recorded a 21st Century version of For Once In My Life:

What would the Friday Cocktail Hour be without a jazz instrumental version of the week’s song? This time, vibraphone master Roy Ayers followed by the great pianist Errol Garner.

That’s it for this holiday week. Pour yourself a spiked eggnog and toast Tony Bennett and Stevie Wonder for all the great music they’ve made over the years.. It’s what Bogie, Betty, and Frank would want. Never argue with them.

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