The Way You Look Tonight was written by Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields for the 1936 Astaire-Rogers movie Swing Time. It has a typically beautiful Kern melody that works as both a ballad and up-tempo number.
We begin with Fred serenading Ginger whilst she washes her hair. I am not making this up.
Not long after the movie came out, Billie Holiday and Teddy Wilson recorded The Way You Look Tonight. It was a hit.
Here’s a swinging version by the Velvet Fog:
Next up, a lush orchestral version by Ella Fitzgerald with a little help from Nelson Riddle.
Anita O’Day, all day. I have no idea what that means but it scans.
Gerry and the Pacemakers were part of the British Invasion. They later recorded some standards including this week’s song.
Finally Bryan Ferry with another up-tempo take on the Kern-Fields classic,
What would the Friday Cocktail Hour be without a jazz instrumental version of the week’s song? This time, we feature some heavy hitters: Thelonious Monk & Sonny Rollins, Stephane Grapelli, and Oscar Peterson.
Have I told you lately how much I love Oscar Peterson?
That’s it for this week. I propose a toast to Jerome Kern for all the lovely melodies and Dorothy Fields for all the swell words. It’s what Bogie, Betty, and Frank would want. Never argue with them.
One thought on “The Way You Look Tonight”
This was the first song I learned how to play on the piano. I couldn’t have been more than two or three at the time. My father taught me. He played the chords, I played the melody. I never knew the title of the tune until I was much older.
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