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Noon Edition

Song Confusions

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Welcome to Afterglow, I’m your host, Mark Chilla.

When songwriters craft a melody or lyric, they hope it will be something completely original—but often it ends up being an adaptation of something else stored away in their subconscious. That’s the theme behind this week’s show. I won’t be digging into the artistic or legal implications of musical borrowing or copyright laws, but rather, I’m going to explore times when songwriters and lyricists stumbled upon the same idea, whether intentionally or unintentionally. Coming up, we’ll hear different versions of songs with the same title, including “Who Can I Turn To,” “Only Trust Your Heart” and “I Love You.”

It’s Song Confusions, coming up next on Afterglow.

<music - Bing Crosby, "Heat Wave">

Bing Crosby in 1956 with Irving Berlin’s “Heat Wave.” That song came from Berlin’s 1933 musical review called As Thousands Cheer, starring Ethel Waters. The scenes and songs from the show were drawn from newspaper stories and headlines. “Heat Wave,” naturally, was a musical version of the weather report.

Exactly 30 years later, the Motown songwriting team Holland-Dozier-Holland also wrote a song called “Heat Wave,” which became a top 10 hit for the group Martha and the Vandellas. Songs about heat waves, I guess, never go out of style.

<music - Martha and the Vandellas, "Heat Wave">

Mark Chilla here on Afterglow. On this show, we’re looking at common song confusions, caused by different songs with the same or similar titles.

The inspiration for this show, like lots of fine ideas, came from a personal mistake. On an earlier episode I did all about “hearts,” I played the Dean Martin song “Only Trust Your Heart” from the 1957 film Ten Thousand Bedrooms. When I was putting together the script, I had forgotten who the songwriters were. So instead of tapping the liner notes, I took a quick trip to Google, and happened upon the names Benny Carter and Sammy Cahn as the songwriters for “Only Trust Your Heart.” Sammy Cahn...that sounded about right. However, it was wrong, and thankfully a listener noticed it and let me know.

It turns out, there are two different songs called “Only Trust Your Heart”: the one I played from the film Ten Thousand Bedrooms and another one often performed as a bossa nova tune. To make matters more confusing, both songs had lyrics written by Sammy Cahn—so you understand my confusion! The Dean Martin Ten Thousand Bedrooms “Only Trust Your Heart” had music written by the Ukranian songwriter Nicholas Brodzsky with lyrics by Sammy Cahn, and the bossa nova one was the one written by Benny Carter and Sammy Cahn. To be honest, I wasn’t terribly familiar with either song, so I mixed them up. 

But that got me thinking. Are there other song confusions out there? Songs with the same title that people might mix up if they weren’t paying close attention? We’ll explore some more this hour.

But first, here are those original songs that inspired the show. First, the Sammy Cahn and Nicolas Brodzsky version, and then the Sammy Cahn and Benny Carter version of “Only Trust Your Heart,” on Afterglow.

<music - Dean Martin, "Only Trust Your Heart">
<music, Astrud Gilberto, "Only Trust Your Heart">

Two different songs called “Only Trust Your Heart,” with lyrics by Sammy Cahn. Just now, we heard Astrud Gilberto and Stan Getz live at the Cafe Au Go Go in New York with “Only Trust Your Heart,” music by Benny Carter. And before that, Dean Martin with “Only Trust Your Heart,” music by Nicolas Brodzsky.

In this case, Sammy Cahn wrote two completely separate sets of lyrics for two different tunes, both with the same title. He’s not the only lyricist to do something like this, either. 

In 1926, lyricist Billy Rose had a million-dollar idea to write a song titled “I Found A Million Dollar Baby (At the Five And Ten Cent Store).” He made that title to a song with music by Fred Fisher, but the song never quite caught on.

<music - Fred Fisher, "I Found A Million Dollar Baby">

So five years later, in 1931, he and fellow lyricist Mort Dixon took the same title (now with different lyrics) and tried again, adding it to a new tune by the up-and-coming songwriter Harry Warren. That version became a hit, and has been performed by Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Barbara Streisand, and more. 

<music - Bing Crosby, "I Found A Million Dollar Baby">

This kind of thing probably happened many times in the early days of musical theatre, as songwriters, lyricists, and producers were trying to match up words and music in any way they could to sell tickets or sheet music. However, today, we’re likely only familiar with the final iteration, the one that caught on with the public, so there’s not too much confusion.

Most of the song confusions occur because some lyricists happened upon the same idea or turn of phrase, whether intentionally or unintentionally. That was probably the case for our next set of songs, both titled “Who Can I Turn To?”

The first one was written back in 1941, an early collaboration between songwriter Alec Wilder and lyricist Bill Engvick. This one was first recorded by Gene Krupa’s Orchestra and vocalist Howard DuLany, and only caught on with a few song aficionados like Jeri Southern. The other “Who Can I Turn To” was written over 20 years later by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newly for their 1964 musical The Roar of The Greasepaint - The Smell of the Crowd. This one is much more famous today, thanks to a winning version popularized by Tony Bennett. 

But let’s hear both. First, this is singer Jeri Southern in 1956 with Alec Wilder and Bill Engvick’s “Who Can I Turn To?” on Afterglow.

<music - Jeri Southern, “Who Can I Turn To?”>
<music - Tony Bennett - “Who Can I Turn To?”>

While it’s somewhat of a coincidence that two lyricists, two decades apart each came up with the phrase “Who Can I Turn To” and the title of a song, sometimes a phase is so ubiquitous that several similarly-titled songs is just inevitable. Take the phrase “I Love You.”

<music - Nat King Cole, "I Love You (For Sentimental Reasons)">

It’s probably the most uttered single phrase in the Great American Songbook, and as a result, many songs carry it as their title. I’ll play for you two songs, both titled “I Love You,” and to make matters more confusing, both sung by Frank Sinatra.

First, here’s Sinatra in 1962 with probably the most famous song called “I Love You,” the version by Cole Porter, on Afterglow.

<music - Frank Sinatra, “I Love You” (Porter)>
<music - Frank Sinatra, "I Love You" (Thompson/Archer)">

Frank Sinatra with two different songs called “I Love You.” Just now, we heard the Harlan Thompson and Harold Archer song “I Love You,” recorded as a Capitol single in 1953. And before that, the Cole Porter song “I Love You,” recorded for the album Sinatra and Swingin’ Brass in 1962.

Here’s just how ubiquitous “I Love You” was, especially with a love-song crooner like Sinatra… Sinatra also recorded the Irving Berlin song “(Just One Way To Say) I Love You” for Columbia Records in 1949 <music clip>

Plus the song “That’s How Much I Love You” by Eddy Arnold, Wally Fowler and J. Graydon Hall as a Columbia single in 1947 <music clip>

And the popular Johnny Mercer and Gordon Jenkins song “P.S. I Love You” in 1957 on his Captiol album Close To You. <music clip>

...that’s not to be confused with the John Lennon/Paul McCartney song “P.S. I Love You” on the Beatles’ first album Please Please Me in 1963... <music clip>

Coming up after a short break, we’ll hear more examples of musical mistaken identity in the Great American Songbook. Stay with us.

Production support for Afterglow comes from:

Soma Coffee House and Juice bar, specializing in juices, espressos and Fair Trade Organic Coffee. Serving from downtown at Kirkwood and Grant and on the corner of third and Jordan.  Online at i heart soma dot com

And from Stephen R Miller C P A, in downtown Bloomington at Graham Plaza, offering personal and small business income tax preparation and financial reporting. Helping clients reach financial goals for over thirty years. 8-1-2 - 3-3-2 - 0-5-5-7

I’m Mark Chilla, and you’re listening to Afterglow

***

Welcome back to Afterglow, I’m Mark Chilla. This hour, we’ve been exploring song confusions, songs with the same title that often get confused for one another.

Different songs with the same title is a very common thing in pop music. Adele and Lionel Richie each have a song called “Hello,” Van Morrison and Laura Branigan each have a song called “Gloria,” Queen and Jefferson Airplane each have a song called “Somebody To Love,” and Willie Nelson, Gnarls Barkley, Seal, and Aerosmith all have a song called “Crazy.” I could go on and on.

But I’m focusing this hour mostly on songs from the Great American Songbook.

Confusion between songs of the same title usually stems from whatever repertoire you’re more familiar with. For instance, if i said the song “Dancing In The Dark” to anyone who was a fan of MTV in the 1980s, you’re probably thinking about this song, and Courteney Cox dancing on stage with Bruce Springsteen… <music clip>

...that’s The Boss in 1984 with his hit version of “Dancing In The Dark” off the album Born In The U.S.A. 

But if you’re a fan of show tunes from the 1930s, you probably think of “Dancing In The Dark” as a ballad by Arthur Schwartz and Howard Dietz from the musical The Band Wagon, first introduced by Bing Crosby in 1931.

I’ll play that earlier song called “Dancing In The Dark” now, sung by Mel Torme in 1961.

<music - Mel Tormé, "Dancing In The Dark">

“Dancing In The Dark,” a song by Arthur Schwartz and Howard Dietz from 1931, sung there by Mel Torme in 1961. That, of course, shouldn’t be confused with the song of the exact same title by Bruce Springsteen from 1984.

In fact, many songs from the Great American Songbook share a title with a later song from the contemporary pop era. For instance, there’s the Cole Porter song “In The Still Of The Night” written in 1937 <music clip>

And then there’s the Five Satins’ doo wop song from 1956 also called “In The Still of the Nite,” although they often spelled night “N-I-T-E” to avoid confusion… <music clip>

There’s also the Jimmy Van Heusen and Sammy Cahn song “Only The Lonely,” written as the title track for Frank Sinatra’s 1958 album Frank Sinatra Sings For Only The Lonely <music clip>

Just two years later, rock ‘n’ roll singer Roy Orbison had a hit with a different song also titled “Only The Lonely” <music clip>

There are plenty of other examples of newer pop songs sharing a title with an older pop standard. But let me turn now to two pop standards that shared a title. This one even stumps some experts.

There are two songs in the Great American Songbook both titled “How Little We Know.” One of those was written by Hoagy Carmichael and Johnny Mercer for the 1944 Carmichael film To Have And Have Not, sung by Lauren Bacall in the picture. The other was one written by Phillip Springer and Carolyn Leigh in 1956, recorded by Frank Sinatra, Carmen McRae and others. 

I’ve seen this one misattributed on liner notes. Back in the 1990s, there was a CD that the Smithsonian Institute put together celebrating the music of Hoagy Carmichael, and unfortunately, it included the other version of “How Little We Know,” not the one written by him! To be fair, on the titular line, “How Little We Know,” the Springer and Leigh version borrows almost note-for-note the same melody as Carmichael’s earlier version. So some confusion is to be expected.

I’ll play both for you now, beginning with the one by Hoagy. This is Nat King Cole and Nelson Riddle’s Orchestra in 1956 with Hoagy Carmichael and Johnny Mercer’s “How Little We Know,” on Afterglow

<music - Nat King Cole, "How Little We Know">
<music - Carmen McRae, "How Little We Know">

Two different versions of songs with the same title. First, we heard Nat King Cole in 1956 with the original “How Little We Know,” written by Hoagy Carmichael and Johnny Mercer for the 1944 film To Have And Have Not. And just now, Carmen McRae with Carolyn Leigh and Phillip Springer’s song “How Little We Know,” a song that is often alternatively titled, “(How Little It Matters) How Little We Know,” to avoid confusion.

Here are two other songs with the same title, although one of them is much more popular than the other. In 1934, Cole Porter wrote the song “All Through The Night” for his popular musical Anything Goes, and it’s since become a pretty popular jazz standard.

In 1941, Humphrey Bogart starred in the Warner Brothers thriller also called All Through The Night, and songwriters Arthur Schwartz and Johnny Mercer were tasked with writing the title song for the show, and managed to write something fairly different from that Cole Porter original. We’ll hear that song in just a moment, but first, here’s Ella Fitzgerald from her Cole Porter Songbook album with the original version of “All Through The Night,” on Afterglow.

<music - Ella Fitzgerald, "All Through The Night">
<music - Johnny Desmond and Gene Krupa, "All Through The Night">

Two songs both titled “All Through The Night.” Just now, we heard the Arthur Schwartz and Johnny Mercer song from the 1941 film also titled All Through The Night. That was performed by Johnny Desmond and Gene Krupa’s orchestra that same year. Before that, the Cole Porter song “All Through The Night,” written in 1934 and performed there by Ella Fitzgerald in 1956. Neither of those songs are to be confused with Cyndi Lauper’s “All Through The Night,” Donna Summer’s “All Through The Night,” or the folk song “All Through the Night,” which are all different songs.

We’ve been looking at some song confusions this hour, songs with the same title. There are a few I had to leave on the cutting room floor, like Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler’s “Let’s Fall In Love” versus Cole Porter’s “Let’s Do It, Let’s Fall in Love,” or the Jerome Kern song “Yesterdays” with an “s” versus the Beatles song “Yesterday,” singluar. If there’s another one that you’ve thought of… and I’m sure there are many… let me know on Afterglow’s facebook page.

I’ll close off this show with the two songs that probably get confused most often. They’re both classics. One song is an exciting melody from a Leonard Bernstein musical, and the other is the bane of any karaoke bar owner located in one of the five boroughs.

The first song, titled “New York, New York” comes from the Betty Comden, Adolph Green and Leonard Bernstein musical On The Town from 1944. This is the one that refers to New York as a “helluva town.” Frank Sinatra helped make this one famous when he, Jules Munschin and Gene Kelly sing the tune as three eager sailors taking over the city in the 1949 film version of On The Town.

The other “New York, New York” also has a Frank Sinatra connection. It was written for Liza Minelli in the 1977 film New York, New York by songwriters John Kander and Fred Ebb. But it became famous when Sinatra started “spreading the news” with his version from 1979. For the record, this one is not called “New York, New York,” but rather the “Theme from New York, New York” referring to the title of the film.

I’ll play both now. First, we’ll hear Mel Torme singing Leonard Bernsteiin’s “New York, New York” and close things off with Sinatra and his classic “Theme from New York, New York,” on Afterglow.

<music - Mel Tormé, "New York, New York">
<music - Frank Sinatra, "Theme from New York, New York">

“New York, New York” and the “Theme from New York, New York,” one song by Leonard Bernstein, Adolph Green, and Betty Comden, the other by John Kander and Fred Ebb. Just now, we heard Frank Sinatra in 1979, before that Mel Torme in 1964. And thanks for tuning in to this song confusions episode of Afterglow.

***

Afterglow is part of the educational mission of Indiana University, and produced by WFIU Public Radio in beautiful Bloomington, Indiana. The executive producer is John Bailey.

Production support for Afterglow comes from:

Soma Coffee House and Juice bar, specializing in juices, espressos and Fair Trade Organic Coffee. Serving from downtown at Kirkwood and Grant and on the corner of third and Jordan.  Online at i heart soma dot com

And from Stephen R Miller C P A, in downtown Bloomington at Graham Plaza, offering personal and small business income tax preparation and financial reporting. Helping clients reach financial goals for over thirty years. 8-1-2 - 3-3-2 - 0-5-5-7

Playlists for this and other Afterglow programs are available on our website. That’s at indianapublicmedia.org/afterglow.

I’m Mark Chilla, and join me next week for our mix of Vocal Jazz and popular song from the Great American Songbook, here on Afterglow

Only The Lonely

Frank Sinatra's "Only The Lonely" from 1958 was different from Roy Orbison's "Only The Lonely" from 1960 (Album Covers)

When songwriters craft a melody or lyric, they hope it will be something completely original—but often it ends up being an adaptation of something else stored away in their subconscious. That’s the theme behind this week’s show. I won’t be digging into the artistic or legal implications of musical borrowing or copyright laws, but rather, I’m going to explore times when songwriters and lyricists stumbled upon the same idea, whether intentionally or unintentionally. Coming up, we’ll hear different versions of songs with the same title, including “Who Can I Turn To,” “Only Trust Your Heart” and “I Love You.”

Some "song confusions" discussed on this episode:

  • "Heat Wave" – Irving Berlin wrote the original in 1933, for the Ethel Waters musical revue As Thousands Cheer. The show had scenes and songs drawn from newspaper headlines—"Heat Wave" was the weather report. Martha and the Vandellas recorded a number-one hit exactly 30 years later also called "Heat Wave," although often referred to "(Love Is Like A) Heat Wave," written by the Motown songwriting team Holland-Dozier-Holland. Songs about heatwaves, I guess, never go out of style.
  • "Only Trust Your Heart" – The inspiration for this show, as I incorrectly identified this song on an earlier episode of Afterglow all about "Hearts." One version of "Only Trust Your Heart," with music by Nicholas Brodzsky, was performed by Dean Martin in the 1957 film Ten Thousand Bedrooms. The other, with music by Benny Carter, was often performed as a bossa nova song by folks like Astrud Gilberto in the 1960s. To make matters more confusions, both songs have lyrics by Sammy Cahn, although slightly different for each song.
  • "I Found A Million Dollar Baby" – Sammy Cahn wasn't the only person who took the same title and applied it (with slightly different lyrics) to two different pieces of music. Lyricist Billy Rose wrote two different versions of the song "I Found A Million Dollar Baby (In A Five And Ten Cent Store)": one in 1926 with songwriter Fred Fisher, and the much more popular one in 1931 with Mort Dixon and Harry Warren (one of Warren's first hits).
  • "Who Can I Turn To?" – The original "Who Can I Turn To?" was an early collaboration from songwriter Alec Wilder and lyricist Bill Engvick, recorded in 1941 by Gene Krupa's orchestra and later recorded by Jeri Southern in 1956. The other (more popular) "Who Can I Turn To?" was written over 20 years later by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newly for their 1964 musical The Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowd, made famous by Tony Bennett that same year.
  • "I Love You" – Some phrases are so ubiquitous that they were bound to show up in several songs. Frank Sinatra recorded Cole Porter's 1944 "I Love You" in 1962 on his album Sinatra and Swingin' Brass and Harlan Thompson and Harold Archer's "I Love You" as a Capitol single in 1953. To further confuse things, Sinatra also recorded "(Just One Way To Say) I Love You" by Irving Berlin in 1949, "(That's How Much) I Love You) by Eddy Arnold, Wally Fowler, and J. Graydon Hall in 1947, and "P.S. I Love You" by Johnny Mercer and Gordon Jenkins in 1957 (not to be confused with The Beatles' "P.S. I Love You."
  • "Dancing in the Dark" – The original was written in 1931 by Arthur Schwartz and Howard Dietz, introduced by Bing Crosby in the musical The Band Wagon. Not to be confused with Bruce Springsteen's 1984 hit "Dancing In The Dark" from his album Born In The U.S.A.
  • "Only The Lonely" – The original was a Jimmy Van Heusen and Sammy Cahn song written expressly for Frank Sinatra's 1958 album Frank Sinatra Sings For Only The Lonely. Not to be confused with the Roy Orbison rock 'n' roll balled "Only The Lonely," recorded two years later in 1960, often referred to as "Only The Lonely (Know How I Feel)" to avoid confusion.
  • "In The Still Of The Night" – The original came from Cole Porter in 1937, and not to be confused with the Five Satins' doo-wop song from 1956, which was often misspelled as "In The Still Of The Nite" to avoid such confusion.
  • "How Little We Know" – The first was written by Hoagy Carmichael and Johnny Mercer for the 1944 Carmichael film To Have and Have Not, sung by Lauren Bacall in the film and later performed by Nat King Cole in the 1950s. The other was written by Phillip Springer and Carolyn Leigh in 1956, recorded by Frank Sinatra, Carmen McRae, and others.
  • "All Through The Night" – The more popular version came from Cole Porter for his 1934 musical Anything Goes. Arthur Schwartz and Johnny Mercer wrote a different song with that title in 1941 as the title song from the Humphrey Bogart film All Through The Night. Not many people have recorded the Schwartz/Mercer version.
  • "Let's Fall In Love" – Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler wrote this song in 1933, and it's not to be confused with the similarly titled "Let's Do It, Let's Fall In Love," the cheeky song written by Cole Porter in 1928.
  • "New York, New York" – The actual "New York, New York" was written by Leonard Bernstein, Betty Comden, and Adolph Green for the 1944 musical On The Town (recorded by Frank Sinatra, Jules Munshin, and Gene Kelly as three eager sailors "on the town" in the 1949 film version of the musical). This is the one that says New York is a "helluva town." The other, the "start spreading the news" one, was written in 1977 by John Kander and Fred Ebb for the Liza Minelli film New York, New York. This one is actually called "Theme from New York, New York," referring to the film, but frequently misidentified as simply "New York, New York," mostly by karaoke singers trying to emulate Sinatra's iconic 1980 version.

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