Rodgers & Hart month continues with the torchiest song with Valentine in the title. I’m already on the record as disliking Valentine’s Day so I won’t belabor the point.
Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart wrote My Funny Valentine in 1937 for the Broadway musical Babes In Arms.
There are over a thousand versions, which complicated my task. Where to begin was easy: Ella Fitzgerald.
Anita O’Day knew her way around a sardonic love song. Nobody was more sardonic than the diminutive Larry Hart:
Here’s Motown superstar Marvin Gaye with his take on the Rodgers & Hart classic.
The younger me had a crush on Lena Horne. Does that make her My Funny Valentine? Beats the hell outta me.
I’ve always loved Chet Baker’s take on the song:
Elvis Costello worked with Chet Baker in 1983. This is in the nature of a tribute to the Chetster.
Finally, Smithereens front man, Pat Dinizio. I still miss him.
What’s the Friday Cocktail Hour without a jazz instrumental version of the week’s song? This time, Miles Davis & John Coltrane followed by Herbie Hancock then Oscar Peterson with Herb Ellis and Ray Brown.
Have I told you lately how much I love Oscar Peterson?
That’s it for this week. Let’s raise a glass and toast Ella Fitzgerald who will be the only constant during Rodgers & Hart month. It’s what Bogie, Betty, and Frank would want. Never argue with them.