Friday, September 28, 2007

when October goes...

OK, a stream of consciousness blog entry...When I titled the last post, it brought to mind a lovely, sad little song by Barry Manilow-- from the post-pop, jazz-ish phase of his career.

A cheesy "video" accompanies the music at YouTube.

My memory was that the lyrics were (derived from) a T.S. Eliot poem. But apparently, that was another memorable melody, "Memory" (based on "Rhapsody on a Windy Night").

Even so, it turns out that the lyrics have a more interesting origin. According to Wikipedia...

"When October Goes" is a ballad based on a lyric Johnny Mercer had written but did not complete before his 1976 death. It was matched up to a melody by pop singer Barry Manilow and published in 1984 (on the album 2:00 AM Paradise Cafe), becoming one of the top Adult Contemporary hits of that year in the United States.

In his last year, as he was dying from brain cancer, Mercer became extremely fond of Manilow, in part because Manilow's first hit record was of a song titled "Mandy," which was also the name of Mercer's daughter. After Mercer's death, his widow, Ginger Mehan Mercer, arranged to give some unfinished lyrics he had written to Manilow to possibly develop into complete songs. Among these was "When October Goes," a melancholy remembrance of lost love. Manilow applied his own melody to the lyric and issued it as a single in 1984. The song has since become a jazz standard, with notable recordings by Rosemary Clooney, Nancy Wilson and Megon McDonough, among other performers. Thomas Anders (of Modern Talking fame) recorded his version in 1997 on the album Live Concert. Recently, Lea Salonga performed the song on her album 'Inspired.'


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