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This was written by Ervin Drake in 1961 for The Kingston Trio, who recorded it on their album Goin' Places in a Folk style with a whistling interlude. Frank Sinatra's 1965 version with lush instrumentation and more dramatic vocals became a hit, winning Grammys in 1966 for Best Male Vocal Performance and Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s).
The phrase "It was a very good year" is often applied to wine, as the vintages differ in quality. Here, Sinatra sings about the years he remembers fondly in his romantic life and the girls that were part of it. As he's now older, he looks back fondly on these memories, bringing up the wine analogy as the memories have aged well with time.
On the TV show The Sopranos, which is about a quirky crime family from New Jersey, this song was used to open the second season and show how event have progressed since the previous season. Sinatra, who is a New Jersey native, was often associated with organized crime.
Some of the many artists who recorded this song include Don McLean, Herb Alpert, Lou Rawls and Eartha Kitt. Robert Charlebois recorded a French version, and Ray Charles recorded the song as a duet with Willie Nelson. In 2001, Robbie Williams recorded it with Sinatra on his album Swing While You're Winning.
The Liverpool band The Coral borrowed this song's chords for their 2002 album track "Calendars and Clocks."
Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris and Lyle Lovett are just a few of the artists who have looked to Clark for insightful, intelligent songs.
John Lee Hooker
Into the vaults for Bruce Pollock's 1984 conversation with the esteemed Bluesman. Hooker talks about transforming a Tony Bennett classic and why you don't have to be sad and lonely to write The Blues.
His song "Into The Night" is one of the most-played of all time. For Benny, it took him to hell and back.
Jason co-wrote many of Colbie Caillat's hits, including "Bubbly" and "Realize."