July 18, 2015

#44: A cautionary tale

From makin' eyes to "Makin' Whoopee":



The song was written in 1928, music by Walter Donaldson and lyrics by Gus Kahn. Nelson Riddle arranged it for Songs for Swingin' Lovers in 1956. I've listened to it about a thousand times and I still can't get over what Sinatra and Riddle did with it. Frank's voice never sounded better and the arrangement is terrific.

Bob Belvedere places it at #33 and recommends you listen to the Eddie Cantor version from the 1930 film Whoopee! If you do, you'll hear a different set of lyrics, with things not ending well for the couple. I'm not sure where Frank got the verses he sings -- I imagine they're original but just omitted by Cantor, though perhaps we can give the singer some credit for these lines:

It's really killin'
This cat's so willin'
To make whoopee
Anyway, I'm glad Frank sang the verses he did. I like the ending just the way it is, with the guy drowning in dishwater.

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