Thursday, July 16, 2015

Cold, Cold Hearts

Occasionally I obsess over a song. For years it was "September Song," specifically the version heard early on in Woody Allen's "Radio Days." It was a simple piano trio playing over a gorgeous, rainswept Rockaway Beach and both that version and image stayed with me till this day. I tried for years to find that version. Oddly enough, dozens upon dozens of songs were played in "Radio Days" and the only one not credited was "September Song." The closest I came were versions by Art Tatum and a clarinet player I used to hear in New Orleans named Tim Laughlin. Neither was it, but now I collect versions of "September Song."

I also collect versions of "Sunny" and "Stardust." These three songs are among my favorites of all time. So is Hank Williams' "Cold, Cold Heart."

One version absolutely slays me. It's Nat "King" Cole's with the Billy May Orchestra.

But recently, I stumbled across the version up top, by Nick Curran and the Nightlifes. The late Nick Curran was special and his last record "Reform School Girl" is worth everyone's time. I've owned his earlier records, but someone this version of "Cold, Cold Heart" from "Doctor Velvet" escaped me. Now, I am obsessing all over again.


William Repsher said...

I'm the same way with "Creep" by Radiohead! Loved that song the moment I heard it, disappointed that the band seems to have disowned it (in favor of the amelodic blip-blip their music turned into Kid A onwards).

Also "It's Been a Long, Long Time," the Big Band chestnut, my favorite being the Bing Crosby/Les Paul version. Actually, a lot of Big Band songs. And "I'll Be Seeing You" ... songs that really registered when my parents passed on as they were Big Band fans. Doesn't hurt that they're great songs that would thrive in any era either.

Anonymous said...

I believe the version used in the film is by Roger Williams.

Anonymous said...

"Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me" - the Susannah McCorkle version is my fave, but i'll try any version.

tinpot said...

Dick Hyman did the original music for Radio Days, and since he's a pianist may have recorded September Song just for the movie. IMDB list the song/composer but no performer, maybe because it came under the incidental-stuff-by-Dick umbrella?

ken49 said...

My current obsession is Didn't I Blow Your Mind by the Delfonics and also the Todd Rundgren/Daryl Hall version on Live from Daryl's Place.

Robin said...

I also obsess over September Song it's just endlessly interesting musically and lyrically and lends itself to interpretation by many (my favorite I think is Frank's version from September of My Years), as well as Autumn Leaves (Nat of course, but another one that Frank hits out of the park as well as Eva Cassidy's version ) and a bit more current so to speak Tomorrow is Such a Long Time (sorry Rod, but I think Elvis gets this one as he often does!). I also obsess a bit over "Everyone's Gone to the Moon" and "Hey, Girl". I search for versions of these songs all the time. Guess I'm an obsessive.

I love Radio Days!

Jeff in Denton TX said...

"The Long Black Veil"
For years, I had assumed that it was a traditional folk murder ballad like “Tom Dooley,” “Pretty Polly,” “Stagger Lee,” or “Down in the Willow Garden.” I was surprised to find out it had actually been written by professional songwriters (Marijohn Wilkin & Danny Dill). There are a zillion recordings of this song and I've yet to hear a bad one. Lefty Frizell's original recording is still one of the best, along with The Band, Bobby Bare, Johnny Cash/Joni Mitchell, and Rosanne Cash.

Anonymous said...

Nick Cave's version of "Long Black Veil" is great, too, but then it's hard to screw up such a great song.
Re "Creep": I too liked it off the bat, but it took only one listen for me to figure out how much it borrowed from "The Air That I Breathe", particularly the Hollies' version of that evergreen classic.
C in California

Anonymous said...

Louis Armstrong did a great version of Cold, Cold Heart; you can find it on "Satchmo Serenades" (where you'll also find "A Kiss to Build a Dream On"). But his version of Your Cheating Heart is kind of meh.

I think I have more versions of You Left the Water Running than any other song. I honestly can't decide which one I like best.


Anonymous said...

Hello, please remain seated,

Interesting meditations on songs we become obsessed with. For me? Mood Indigo. I've got a slew of versions, none of which I dislike. The song just seems to play itself, and well.

If you want to treat your ears really nice, try to find Marcus Roberts' version, solo piano. Or, for that matter, Monk's solo piano version. Or......


Heather Taylor said...

I have Woody Allen's Movie Music, a European release, and the September Song version is by Harry James. Whether or not it was used in the film, his version was also simply lovely.