Saturday, December 15, 2012

Want Some Sugar?

Fanny Brice Nina Simone
Diana Krall Diahann Carroll
Clockwise: Fanny Brice; Nina Simone; Diahann Carroll; and Diana Krall.

Many might remember the next song as part of the soundtrack for the film 'Funny Girl', and sung by Barbra Streisand. Being an ardent fan of Streisand, I of course knew the song, but just assumed for a long time that it was written for the show by Jule Styne. However, I went on to learn the song was written by Billy Rose and Fred Fisher, and sung by Fanny Brice. I learned it wasn't in the Broadway production (I bought the album to learn there were several different songs), but added to the film version to add some authenticity from the Brice catalog. Please enjoy as Fanny Brice sings "I'd Rather Be Blue Over You (Than Happy with Somebody Else)".

While she might have been inspired by a song sung by the legendary Bessie Smith, Nina Simone was never one to take the simple route. So she wrote her own version of "I Want A Little Sugar In My Bowl", and while it might not have been quite as suggestive as Bessie's, it certainly doesn't shy away either. Nina recorded it on her 1967 album 'Nina Simone Sings The Blues'.

In 1964, Dionne Warwick released one of many songs written by the dynamic duo Burt Bacharach and Hal David. While it might not be known as Jazz standard, I think this clip of the gorgeous Diana Krall singing "Walk On By" certainly makes a case it should at least be considered.

Diahann Carroll sings "Goody Goody". The 1936 popular song was composed by Matty Malneck and Johnny Mercer, and first recorded by Benny Goodman and his orchestra, and made popular by Bob Crosby, a singer and bandleader known for his band, the Bob-Cats. He was also the youngest brother of Bing Crosby, but I digress. Here we have the always amazing Diahann Carroll singing the song on an appearance she made on The Judy Garland Show.


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