March 11, 2015

#81: Hooked

"You're Getting To Be A Habit With Me" was written in 1932 by Harry Warren (music) and Al Dubin (words) for the movie 42nd Street. Frank Sinatra recorded it with a Nelson Riddle arrangement for Songs for Swingin' Lovers:

I really love this little song, but then I love almost everything from this album. It was one of the first Sinatra CDs I got my hands on when (at long last), ten years ago, I became seriously interested in his music. The sound -- not just Frank's voice and style, but the music behind him -- was a revelation to me and I was instantly hooked. I had to hear it ev'ry day, as regularly as coffee or tea, though the high I got from Sinatra and co was greater by far than anything caffeine could ever induce.

Sinatra, at age 40, is in perfect voice here and is perfectly complemented by the gently-swinging Riddle arrangement. During the middle of the song, I always see women in white gloves and full skirts moving around the dance floor in the arms of their partners. It was already 1956 and that kind of everyday elegance was already on its way out. Short as well as sweet, the song is over in less than two and a half minutes; Riddle and Sinatra knew how to leave their listeners wanting more. 

Harry Warren, who -- go figure -- was not Jewish but Italian, had a very long career as a Hollywood songwriter. As usually happens when I read up a bit on a songwriter, the rabbit trails take me to some fun and fascinating places. Along with the wonderful "I Only Have Eyes For You" (we'll get to that later), Warren wrote this song:

That was a huge hit in my circle when I was ten years old. My mom, who had stood in line in her bobby socks to see Sinatra in the Forties, loved it, too. 

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