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Afternoon Explorations – “Willow Weep For Me” – Chad & Jeremy??

Willow Wee for MwAs I sit here inspecting the installation of a new pipe under Tuckerton Road in Medford Lakes NJ. My thoughts are on music, I thought about how last week I investigated the song “Afro Blue”. Thinking about that song, another song popped into my head, that one was “Willow Weep for Me” While there may be another cover of the song in my library, the one I really know is Wes Montgomery’ cover that is the title track on one of his albums! So let’s find out a little about the song. From Wikipedia:

“Willow Weep for Me” is a popular song composed in 1932 by Ann Ronell, who also wrote the lyrics. The song form is AABA and it is written in 4/4 time,[1] although it is occasionally adapted for 3/4 waltz time, as on recordings by Phil Woods (Musique du Bois, 1974) and Dr. Lonnie Smith (Jungle Soul, 2006.) It is mostly known as a jazz standard, having been recorded first by Ted Fio Rito (with vocal by Muzzy Marcellino) in October 1932 and by Paul Whiteman (with vocal by Irene Taylor) the following month. Both were hits in December 1932.[2] It was a Top 40 hit for the British duo Chad & Jeremy in 1964; the song was released on their Yesterday’s Gone album and reached No. 15 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 1 on the Adult Contemporary chart.[3] (From Wikipedia)

Willow weep for me wesWow! While I knew the song was a jazz standard, I didn’t realize it was that old! I guess that’s because the cover version that I’m most familiar with is by Wes Montgomery and the album of the same name was released in 1969, just a mere thirty-seven years after the song was written! Continuing

One account of the inspiration for the song is that, during her time at Radcliffe College, Ronell “had been struck by the loveliness of the willow trees on campus, and this simple observation became the subject of an intricate song”.[2] The song was not initially accepted by publishers, for several reasons. First, the song is dedicated to George Gershwin; a dedication to another writer was disapproved of at the time, so the first person presented with the song for publication, Saul Bornstein, passed it to Irving Berlin, who chose to accept it. (From Wikipedia)…

Here’s just a few of the biggest names who have covered “Willow Weep for Me over the last 80 years. I guess you can classify this song as Classical Music!

•Paul Whiteman Orchestra – with vocal by Irene Taylor (1932), US No. 2
•Billie Holiday – Lady Sings the Blues
•Art Tatum – solo piano, live at the Just Jazz concert, presented by Gene Norman at Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA (1949)
•Stan Kenton – Artistry in Rhythm (1950) (The track “Willow Weep for Me”
•Thelonious Monk and Milt Jackson (1951), appears on Monk’s Genius of Modern Music: (Volume 2 1952) and Jackson’s Wizard of the Vibes (1952)
Cannonball Adderley – Bohemia After Dark (1955)
•Dinah Washington – Dinah! (1956) on EmArcy Records
•Louis Armstrong – Louis Armstrong Meets Oscar Peterson (1957) on Verve Records
•Frank Sinatra – Frank Sinatra Sings for Only the Lonely (1958)
•Nina Simone – The Amazing Nina Simone (1959)
•Ella Fitzgerald – Hello, Love (1960)
•Al Hirt – The Greatest Horn in the World (1961)[6]
•Jack Jones – Where Love Has Gone (1964)
Wes Montgomery – Willow Weep for Me (1969)
•Diana Krall – From This Moment On (2006)
•Franck Amsallem – Amsallem Sings (2009)
•Lou Rawls – (1962) – Appears on the compilation Midnight Jazz (2004)
•Johnny Dankworth – Too Cool For The Blues (2010)
•Vocal Spectrum – Vocal Spectrum III (2011)
•Wynton Kelly – Sides of Blue (2007)
•Barbra Streisand – Release Me (2012) (recorded in 1967 for Simply Streisand

Wikipedia – “Willow Weep for Me”

Now for the music! I could pick a video of any of the above covers of the song and not go wrong, but I chose the Chad & Jeremy cover because I didn’t remember it being a hit for them! Does anyone else??