Classics and some curiosities in the history of music.
60s, BIG BAND, SOUL JAZZ, SWING, USA, VOCAL."Stormy Weather" is a 1933 song written by Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler. Ethel Waters first sang it at The Cotton Club night club in Harlem in 1933 and recorded it that year, and in the same year it was sung in London by Elisabeth Welch and recorded by Frances Langford. Also 1933, for the first time in history the entire floor revue from Harlem's Cotton Club went on tour, playing theatres in principal cities. The revue was originally called The Cotton Club Parade of 1933 but for the road tour it was changed to the Stormy Weather Revue and as the name implies, the show contained the hit song "Stormy Weather" which was sung by Adelaide Hall.The song has since been performed by artists as diverse as Frank Sinatra, Etta James, Dinah Washington, Clodagh Rodgers, and Reigning Sound and most famously by Lena Horne and Billie Holiday. Leo Reisman's orchestra version had the biggest hit on records (with Arlen himself as vocalist), although Ethel Waters's recorded version also sold well. "Stormy Weather" was featured in the 1943 movie of the same name.The song tells of disappointment, as the lyrics, "Don't know why there's no sun up in the sky", show someone pining for her man to return. The weather is a metaphor for the feelings of the singer: "stormy weather since my man and I ain't together, keeps raining all the time."The original handwritten lyrics, along with a painting by Ted Koehler, were featured on the (US) Antiques Roadshow on 24 January 2011, where they were appraised for between $50,000 and $100,000. The lyrics show a number of crossings out and corrections.
Ethel Waters's recording of the song in 1933 was inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2003, and the Library of Congress honored the song by adding it to the National Recording Registry in 2004. Also in 2004, Horne's version finished at #30 on AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs survey of top tunes in American cinema.Eleanora Fagan (April 7, 1915 – July 17, 1959), professionally known as Billie Holiday, was an American jazz musician and singer-songwriter with a career spanning nearly thirty years. Nicknamed "Lady Day" by her friend and music partner Lester Young, Holiday had a seminal influence on jazz music and pop singing. Her vocal style, strongly inspired by jazz instrumentalists, pioneered a new way of manipulating phrasing and tempo. She was known for her vocal delivery and improvisational skills, which made up for her limited range and lack of formal music education. There were other jazz singers with equal talent, but Holiday had a voice that captured the attention of her audience.
Don't know whyThere's no sun up in the skyStormy weatherSince my man and I ain?t togetherKeeps raining all of the timeOh yeahLife is bareGloom and misery everywhereStormy weather, stormy weatherAnd I just can't get my poor self togetherOh I'm weary all of the timeThe time, so weary all of the timeWhen he went awayThe blues walked in and met meOh yeah if he stays awayOld rocking chair's gonna get meAll I do is prayThe Lord will let meWalk in the sun once moreOh I can't go on, can't go on, can't go onEverything I have is goneStormy weather, stormy weatherSince my man and I, me and my daddy ain?t togetherKeeps raining all of the timeOh, oh, keeps raining all of the timeOh yeah, yeah, yeah raining all of the time Stormy stormyStormy weatherYeah