Body and Soul

Album: Three's A Crowd (1930)
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Songfacts®:

  • An all-time classic torch song, this was written by Edward Heyman, Robert Sour, Frank Eyton and John Green in 1930. The tune was introduced in the Broadway show Three's A Crowd, where it was sung by Libby Holman. Subsequent classic vocal recordings include well known ones by Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra.
  • The 1947 film, which shares the song title and used the tune as a soundtrack theme, starred John Garfield and is considered the first great boxing picture. A knockout on all levels, the fight sequences brought a kind of realism to the genre that had never before existed, but you didn't come here for a film review did you?
  • Jazz saxophonist Coleman Hawkins recorded this song in 1939, and his performance is recognised as one of jazz's most influential performances. Hawkins is known as "the father of the tenor saxophone" and it was his improvised rendition of this tune with consistent use of double time, which made him a national figure.
  • The late English singer Amy Winehouse teamed up with the veteran American vocalist Tony Bennett to record a jazzy duet version of this song, which was released as the first single from Bennett's Duets II album, a follow-up to his 2006 release Duets: An American Classic. The song was released as a charity single with all proceeds going to a foundation that Amy's family set up to help a number of charities connected with children and young people.

    The pair recorded the track at London's Abbey Road Studios in March 2011 and it stands as Amy Winehouse's last known recording before her sudden death on July 23, 2011. Her father, Mitch, said: "Amy was so excited to be working with Tony Bennett and really looking forward to her fans hearing this new recording. The fact that Amy's voice is sounding as amazing and beautiful as ever and she is singing with the great Tony Bennett seems the most fitting tribute of all at this very difficult time."

    Bennett sang the praises of Winehouse in an interview with the BBC. "Amy was beautiful. She was quite nervous, but I thought, I met Sinatra before a show, and he was nervous, and Duke Ellington, and he was nervous. What calmed her down when we did the record, and I'll never forget it, I said the way you sound [you sound like] Dinah Washington... and that calmed her down. She's truly a good jazz singer. She's not making believe it's jazz. She's completely original and she's good at it."
  • When Tony Bennett and Amy Winehouse's version entered the Hot 100 at #87 on the chart dated October 1, 2011, a few records were broken. They were:

    1) At 85 years and two months, Bennett became the oldest living artist ever to chart on the Billboard Hot 100. He passed the late George Burns, who was 84-years and two-months-old when "I Wish I Was Eighteen Again" completed its chart run in the week of March 22, 1980.

    Bennett's record was broken in September 2013 when "Oh Sweet Lorraine" by Green Shoe Studio featuring 96-years-old Fred Stobaugh debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at #42.

    2) Bennett's previous visit to the Hot 100 had been the week of November 25, 1967 with his version of "For Once In My Life." The span of 43 years, 10 months and one week away from the chart marks the longest hiatus among solo artists.

    3) The singer was at #59 with "Young and Warm and Wonderful," on the very first Hot 100 dated August. 4, 1958. In charting again in October 1, 2011, Bennett became the artist with the longest span of appearing on the tally, a total of 53 years and two-months.

Comments: 2

  • Faathima from Argyll AvenuePlease can you tell me the message behind the song itself? Thank you!
  • Frederic from VirginiaThis song rates #1 on Jazz Standards list of 1000 most recorded jazz songs
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