“One of those uniquely interpreted songs you can’t get out of your head.”
It’s a perfect fit for Billie Holiday …
… and I’ve always thought she wrote the lyrics. But I was wrong.
Willow Weep For Me was composed by Ann Ronell who dedicated it to to George Gershwin, the composer who helped her get her start in the music industry. She was notable for being one of the only composers at the time to handle both music and lyrics.
The song was introduced by vocalist and whistler Muzzy Marcellino performing with Ted Fio Rito and His Orchestra. Their October 1932 Brunswick recording entered the pop charts December 3, 1932, and rose to number seventeen.
On December 17 Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra’s Victor recording with singer Irene Taylor entered the charts and was more favourably received, rising to number two in the US charts.
Over thirty years later, in 1964, Willow Weep for Me re-emerged on the pop charts, this time by the British duo Chad and Jeremy.
But I always preferred the version by Alan Price: he sang with soul. All the other tracks have their individual jazz interpretation.
01. Ted Fio Rito Orch. w. Muzzy Marcellino voc.
02. Paul Whiteman Orch. w. Irene Taylor voc.
03. Alan Price Set
04. Etta James
05. Sarah Vaughan
06. Julie London
07. Dexter Gordon
08. Ray Charles w. David ‘Fathead’ Newman
09. Art Tatum
10. Thelonious Monk & Milt Jackson
11. Jan Johansson & Rune Gustafsson
12. Ron Carter