As the Emperor of the Friday Cocktail Hour, I hereby decree February to be Rodgers & Hart month. Why? Why the hell not?
Blue Moon was written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart in 1934 when they were under contract to MGM. It began life as a croonable ballad and went through many permutations over the years.
We’re going to begin with two traditional takes on the tune followed by some more eccentric versions. Larry Hart was a bona fide eccentric, after all.
There appears to be some Velvet Fog on the horizon. For the uninitiated, that was Mel Tormé’s nickname. Mel was the crooner’s crooner.
You can never go wrong with the first lady of song, Ella Fitzgerald:
The Marcels doo-wop take on Blue Moon was the first version I ever heard. I was surprised to learn it was a Rodgers and Hart classic.
Betty Carter live with a small group.
Some of Willie Nelson’s fans have short memories. They’re mad at him for supporting Beto for Texas governor. Willie’s a liberal. Deal with it.
What would a Friday Cocktail Hour be without instrumental versions of the week’s song? This time, guitar-centric interpretations by the Ventures and Jonathan Richman:
That’s it for this week. I propose a toast to Richard Rodgers and Larry Hart for all the swell music they brought to the world. It’s what Bogie, Betty, and Frank would want. Never argue with them.