Clockwise: Kay Starr, Georgia Gibbs, Rosemary Clooney, and Teresa Brewer.
While looking for an inspiration for a post, I just decided to think of a song I really wanted to hear this afternoon. Right away, Rosemary Clooney popped into my head, and it was a song she released in 1952. Thus, a theme was born. I went to look at the song released in 1952, and found several that fit the bill for tonight, great songs sung by amazing ladies, all about love. I decided to begin with the first #1 song from the wonderful Kay Starr. "Wheel of Fortune" was written by Bennie Benjamin and George David Weiss, and it sounds like it was tailored to Starr. It showcases the power and nuance of her vocals. This is Kay Starr singing "Wheel of Fortune".
I am pleased to introduce a vocalist new to the blog with this next song. "Kiss of Fire" was written by Argentine Ángel Villoldo, and was sung by some of the greats in the music world. But it had it's greatest success when sung by Georgia Gibbs, when it went to #2 on the Billboard Pop chart. Gibbs was born Frieda Lipschitz, the daughter of Russian Jews. She lost her father while still young, and was raised for a time in an orphanage. Later, after her mother found employment, she came to get Frieda, but life as a single parent in the 1930s was not easy. Soon the teenaged Lipschitz was winning talent contests, and was hired as a professional singer at age 13. She worked hard, singing all over. In 1952, she found herself at the top of the charts with this wonderful song. This is Georgia Gibbs singing "Kiss of Fire".
Teresa Brewer made Gibbs seem like a late bloomer. She was hard at work as a singer at age 5, singing on the 'Major Bowes Amateur Hour', a touring radio program. The show was a talent contest, the American Idol of it's day. She continued with the show until she was 12, when she moved home to Toledo, Ohio, to try to have a 'normal' life. She could not stay away for long, and by the time she was 16, she was singing once again. By the time she was 18, she had her frist #1 song on the Billboard Pop chart, with "Music Music Music" in 1950. "Till I Waltz Again With You" was her second #1 song, released two years later. The song perfectly fit her glorious voice, blending the power and tone just right. This is Teresa Brewer singing "Till I Waltz Again With You".
Finally, we come to the song that inspired this post. "Tenderly" was written in 1946 with music by Walter Gross and lyrics by Jack Lawrence. It was first sung by Sarah Vaughan in 1947, but it was the amazing Rosemary Clooney who had the greatest success with it. Once again, it was a great song perfectly suited for the right voice, for the richness of Clooney's voice is truly on display on this track. It has long been a favorite of mine, and whenever I hear it, I know why. Rosie is so relaxed, so seductive, I am entranced. This is Rosemary Clooney singing "Tenderly".
Have a great weekend!