Top Tune of the Week

Week of May 18, 2011

The Jon Rauhouse Sestet feat. Rachel Flotard - Witchcraft

“Jon Rauhouse plays pedal steel guitar the way John Zorn plays the saxophone.” —Paste Magazine

Written in 1957, “Witchcraft” was originally composed as an instrumental piece by Cy Coleman for a small theatre revue. Lyrics were later added by Coleman’s longtime collaborator Carolyn Leigh, and the tune was subsequently recorded by Sinatra, in an arrangement by the great Nelson Riddle.

In 1957 Sinatra was in the middle of filming “Pal Joey” for Columbia Pictures and his time was even more limited than usual – but Capitol Records really wanted to release a new single, and began pressuring Frank to find a tune. Sinatra heard a demo of “Witchcraft” (sung by Cy) and immediately cut it. The song spent 16 weeks on the charts and went on to became one of Frank’s most iconic numbers. Sinatra actually recorded “Witchcraft” three times in a studio setting: The first recording was the ’57 single release (later released on his compilation album “All the Way” in ’61), Sinatra and Riddle re-recorded “Witchcraft” during his Reprise Records years for 63′s “Sinatra’s Sinatra”, and finally, he recorded it as a duet with Anita Baker for “Duets” in 1993. Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, and the Oscar Peterson Trio are among those who have all tackled the song, recording classic versions all their own.

Jon Rauhouse first came to critical notoriety as a member of the Grievous Angels in the mid 1990s. Since then, Jon – one of the new masters of pedel steel (and Hawaiian guitar) – has put out several of his own critically acclaimed releases, as well as appearing on tours and recordings by the likes of Neko Case, Sally Timms, Kelly Hogan, Calexico, the Waco Brothers, Giant Sand, and the Old 97′s, among others.

We were thrilled when Jon said he wanted to tackle a version of “Witchcraft”… and we are pleased today to present you Mr. Rauhouse’s swinging affair, featuring sublime vocals courtesy of Rachel Flotard.

Purchase Jon Rauhouse’s “Witchcraft” HERE.
Visit Jon on the web HERE.

We leave you with this from Ol’ Blue Eyes from 1965.


Master controlled by Notable Music Co /

Publishing (Cy Coleman, ASCAP) controlled by Notable Music Co. / Administered by BMG Rights Management / contact:

Publishing (Carolyn Leigh, ASCAP) controlled by Morley Music Co c/o MPL Communications Inc / contact:


4 Responses to “The Jon Rauhouse Sestet feat. Rachel Flotard – Witchcraft”

  1. Sharon says:

    As a very long, die-hard Sinatra fan, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with Rahouse’s guitar and the beautiful voice of Rachel Flotard on this iconic piece. A nicely updated version of Witchcraft for perhaps today’s audience. Nicely done!

  2. Ed Zee says:

    Think I’m just gonna comment on how I felt when I first heard it.

    Having an really good coffee in the quiet moment just right before the chaos starts.
    Taking a deep breath and ponder about when the next quiet moment will come.

    So nicely done and complete surprised by Rachel’s singing. Love the pedal steel. So smooth…

  3. Anthony Corvelli says:

    Rachel. this is amazing!!

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