Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Til There Was You

There are some singers who rock every single song they sing. Take Peggy Lee, best known, perhaps, to this generation, as the torch-singer mutt in "Lady and the Tramp." Listen here to her sing "Til There Was You," from Meredith Wilson's "The Music Man."

Magnificent, from the sultry voice to the minimalist arrangement. She sings it like she means it.

Here's the original for comparison, with Shirley Jones singing:

This is definitely her song in the musical, and she does it well, and it's always entertaining to watch Robert Preston's facial expressions as she sings.

Then there are The Beatles, who also sang this song:

Now I like The Beatles, but this version is absolutely lifeless. Paul McCartney may like the song, but nobody else does, and their sad little rock arrangement of this wonderful ballad -- and his delivery -- are spineless. There are many songs The Beatles sing well. I did exercises to "Penny Lane" when I was in elementary school -- evidently the instructor was a Beatles fan -- so I have fond memories of their music. This song, however, they deliver terribly.

So points here to Peggy Lee, best to deliver "Til There Was You."

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