Wednesday, October 06, 2010

"If you want the things you love/You must have showers."

The song: "Pennies from Heaven," Frank Sinatra. Words & music by Johnny Burke and Arthur Johnston. Track 7 of Songs for Swingin' Lovers, 1956.
How/when acquired: Purchased CD, c. 1998.
Listen/watch here.

The rain hasn't started yet, but it's supposed to rain all day today and all day tomorrow. It's a good day for lounge music, but most days are good days for lounge music.

Aren't we about due for another revival of Cocktail Nation? It's been 14 years since Swingers set off the last one, and the deaths of Eddie Fisher and Tony Curtis remind me once again of how cool everybody was back then. Repressed, oppressed, suppressed, and all the rest of it — which was why people drank so much and died of heart attacks in their early 50s — but man, they looked good while they were doing it.

"Pennies from Heaven" was originally recorded by Bing Crosby in 1936, at the depths of the Depression. By the time Frank Sinatra recorded it, 20 years later, it was already a nostalgia piece. Did people living through the Depression know it was a depression, or was that just a label applied after the war started and recovery began? Twenty years from now, will we call this era the Second Great Depression?

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