Tagged: Stella by Starlight Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • mistermuse 1:02 am on November 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Billy Eckstine, Black Eyed Susan Brown, , , , , I Love You Samantha, , , , Stella by Starlight, Susie,   


    Believe it or not, I have standards — which I have made the standard for S (Part II). One of the all-time great standards of America’s Golden Age of popular music is STELLA BY STARLIGHT, composed by Victor Young for the 1944 film THE UNINVITED.  I invite you to be my guest for this good-as-it-gets rendition by the man known as “Mr. B”….

    By most standards, the obscure tune which follows isn’t considered a standard….but when it’s by Cole Porter, almost any song (in my considered opinion) qualifies:

    Our next S song has had more lives than a cat named Susie. It was first recorded by Eddie Cantor on 4/6/1925 and became a bestseller. It was subsequently sung by an actor who played Cantor in THE GREAT ZIEGFELD (1936), by two guys named Gene & Frank in ANCHORS AWEIGH (1945), and again by Cantor in the films IF YOU KNEW SUSIE (1948) and THE EDDIE CANTOR STORY (1953)….not to mention other vintage recordings and performances. The clip below is from (guess which) one of the above:

    We close with a song which may be too highbrow for some of you, but a little taste of class is surely worth the risk of a black eye to your reputation (such as it is — ha ha):


    • arekhill1 2:44 am on November 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 8:47 am on November 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Ah, yes, Ricardo — life was a beach with Sandy. Where have all the good times gone?


    • Don Frankel 8:22 am on November 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Am I old enough to remember Billy Eckstine singing on TV? Yes, and quite vividly too. And you’re right even some drunks singing in a bar, can’t ruin Cole Porter. You know there is an intricacy and a depth to his music and Gershwin too, that I don’t think exist in too many places.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 8:52 am on November 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Don, in preparing this post, I listened to those first two songs multiple times. To repeat words from my first paragraph, they’re as good as it gets.


    • Madame Vintage 3:07 pm on November 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Some wonderful song choices here. I type this as my heart agrees to the sound of Stella by Starlight. It does something magical when I hear them in movies so it’s a wonderful feeling to be had.

      Sincerely Sonea

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 5:09 pm on November 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        When Stella By Starlight first appeared in the 1944 film THE UNINVITED, it was only an instrumental. In 1946 lyricist Ned Washington added words to the melody composed by Victor Young, and (as the old saying goes) the rest is history.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Madame Vintage 6:55 pm on November 28, 2017 Permalink

          Ah I see. Thank you for letting me know. It works wonders in both ways.

          Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 1:15 am on August 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Charles Tobias, , , , , , , , Ned Washington, , recordings, Rose O'Day, Sidney Clare, Stella by Starlight, Victor Young   

    ATTENTION! (Or, as the French say, ATTENTION!)* 

    *There is a pronounced difference.


    It is said that youth must be served, but the extent of what this generation knows of music is such that 1920s-1940s popular music/classic jazz, and hence this post, might as well be in a foreign language. However, for those past being served by the myopic world of current culture, listen up! August 15 is one of those days of a convergence which doesn’t come along every day: it’s the birthday of no less than four Golden Age American songwriters, the titles of whose songs afford me a theme-opportunity beyond the happenstance of their birthdays-in-common.

    All four (born on this date from 1892 to 1901) were prolific tunesmiths, but what caught my attention is that each wrote one song with a girl’s name in the title which, in two cases, became standards, and in all four cases, were big hits in their day. The writers: Harry Akst, Sidney Clare, Charles Tobias, and Ned Washington; the songs: DINAH, MISS ANNABELLE LEE, ROSE O’DAY and STELLA BY STARLIGHT.

    Although none of these men’s fame survived their era, a number of their compositions did (or, as an Irving Berlin song title put it, The Song Is Ended, But The Melody Lingers On). One such ditty is DINAH, by Harry Akst,  a favorite of jazz musicians which has been recorded countless times since the 1920s. I like so many versions of this song that I couldn’t further narrow down this list if you Akst me to:

    (Louis Armstrong)
    (New Orleans Jazz Vipers)
    (Bing Crosby/Mills Bros.)
    (Fats Waller)

    The next tune, by Sidney Clare, is a particular favorite of mine.Written in 1927, it was recorded by numerous jazz and dance bands and became a toe-tapping best seller in America and Europe. What’s not to like about her? She’s wonderful, she’s marvelous….MISS ANNABELLE LEE:

    (George Fisher Kit Cat Band)
    (Savoy Havana Band)

    Next we have Charles Tobias’s ROSE O’DAY, the most lightweight of the four — due, not to diet, but to being a silly novelty song which nevertheless was one of 1941’s top hits:

    (Dick Todd)

    Last but not lightweight, there’s STELLA BY STARLIGHT, composed by Victor Young as the theme for the 1944 film “The Uninvited,” with lyrics added by Ned Washington in 1946. This beautiful standard has been recorded by dozens of artists, including the following:

    (Billy Eckstein)
    (Anita O’Day)
    (Frank Sinatra)

    That’s all. AS YOU WERE (if you’ve ever been in the military, you know what that means).


    • sonniq 7:35 am on August 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      You are right that the kids today won’t know this music. I listened to one with Louie Armstrong and then got lost in YouTube watching video after video of old clips. Fun.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 8:49 am on August 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I grew up with this music and was still in my teens in the early to mid 1950s when R&B and R&R burst on the scene, some of which I dug & some of which I didn’t. I think young people should be open to sounds different from what they hear every day, but they’re captives of their culture, and most will probably never know any better/grow to be open to expanded horizons.


    • Mél@nie 2:24 pm on August 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      excellent post, comme d’habitude… 🙂 well, “attention!” sounds better than… “achtung!” 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 3:50 pm on August 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      You got that right. When the Germans said “Ach-tung!”, they weren’t just “Act-ing!” – they meant it! 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mél@nie 6:24 am on August 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        it does mean almost the same thing nowadays, as well… they haven’t changed that much and do believe they’re THE best – at least in Europe…

        Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 3:41 pm on August 17, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I’m going with Louis Armstrong on Dinah, Billy Eckstein on Stella by Starlight and the Savoy Havana Band on Miss AnnaBelle Lee. But you can’t go wrong with any of these. Keep ’em alive Muse. Keep ’em alive.


    • mistermuse 4:27 pm on August 17, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Don, did you notice that when Sinatra made that 1947 recording of STELLA BY STARLIGHT, he still pronounced Stella “Stellar’ like he never left New Jersey? But that doesn’t take away from his fine rendition, though I agree that Billy Eckstein takes the prize, and Anita O’Day’s version is also top notch.


    • BroadBlogs 1:22 pm on August 18, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Lovin’ all that jazz.


    • mistermuse 3:01 pm on August 18, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      If you didn’t love jazz before, I’m glad you’re lovin’ it now, because I love to win converts to my religion. 🙂


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