The Great American Songbook Countdown – #1: Night And Day

dancing3[1]“Night and Day” isn’t number one on my list because it’s Cole Porter’s best work (though make no mistake: its Porter’s best work by far.

Nor is it number one because of a long history with the song (I first heard this song in 2002, well after first hearing most of the other songs on my countdown).

Quite simply, “Night and Day” is my number one song from the Great American Songbook because it’s the song my wife and I danced to at our wedding. It’s a beautiful song and for the rest of my life I will always think of her when I hear it. I chose the song for the wedding because I thought it perfectly summed up my affection for my wife. Check out these lyrics:

Night and day, you are the one
Only you ‘neath the moon or under the sun
Whether near to me, or far
No matter darling where you are
I think of you, night and day

Day and night, why is it so
That this longing for you follows wherever I go
In the roaring traffic’s boom
In the silence of my lonely room
I think of you, night and day

Of it’s many recordings, I believe Frank Sinatra’s version from Sinatra and Strings (arranged by Don Costa) is the most elegant (as it is a ballad instead of the upbeat version usually heard).

Frank Sinatra – Night And Day

The Great American Songbook Countdown – #9: I Concentrate On You & #8: Baubles, Bangles And Beads

sinatra+jobim[1]In 2001, my not-quite-my-girlfriend-not-yet-my-wife let me borrow disc three of Frank Sinatra’s Reprise Collection. The disc, covering recordings from 1966-69, included songs from Sinatra’s sessions with Brazilian bossa nova great Antônio Carlos Jobim.

I was already a Jobim fan, yet somehow I had overlooked these recordings. After learning of these sessions, I scoured Napster (back before RIAA started cracking down) and downloaded all of the Sinatra/Jobim recordings. Of those tracks, the Cole Porter-penned “I Concentrate On You” and “Baubles, Bangles And Beads” (written by George Forrest and Robert Wright) are my favorites from the American Songbook (Full disclosure: “Wave” is my favorite recording from the sessions, however, that won’t count in this list since it isn’t part of the GAS). 1

Frank Sinatra & Antônio Carlos Jobim -I Concentrate On You

Frank Sinatra & Antônio Carlos Jobim – Baubles, Bangles And Beads