(click song title above to listen)
Classically trained pianist and later the grand host of NYC’s cabaret scene, Julius Monk, staged a succession of revues at the Upstairs At The Downstairs on West 56th Street in Manhattan. From the mid-1950s through the mid-1960s, Monk’s annual revues are said to have established the standard for New York cabaret. Singers and collaborators who frequently performed or worked with Monk included Robert Downey, Sr., Sylvia Syms, Blossom Dearie, Imogene Coca, and Liberace to name a few.
It was Blossom Dearie who first recorded this week’s Top Tune and “whose willowy voice had begun attracting devoted fans through the fifties and was a favorite of Julius Monk” writes Andy Propst, author of the new comprehensive bio You Fascinate Me So: The Life and Times of Cy Coleman. The song would enjoy subsequent recordings but probably the most famous was this version by Peggy Lee in 1963 which was a B-side to her single “Got That Magic” on Capitol Records. Lee was inspired to use the song after encountering it for the first time in one of Monk’s revues.
You can hear a bit of Dearie’s version in this sweet mash-up with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s “Spread Your Love” for the Cosmopolitan Hotel & Casino – Las Vegas.
Here’s a great vintage clip by Mary Tyler Moore, Dick Van Dyke and Sylvia Lewis.
Contact & Licensing:
Publishing controlled by Notable Music Co. (Cy Coleman). Contact: Damon Booth / firstname.lastname@example.org
Administered by Downtown Music Publishing
Contact: Sean McGraw / email@example.com
Publishing controlled by Carwin Music Co. Inc (Carolyn Leigh)
Administered by EMI U. Catalog Inc.
Master controlled by Capitol Records. Contact: Doug James / firstname.lastname@example.org