For no earthly reason, this popped into my head today in the shower and has refused to leave all day, so … you know what that means! A few centuries ago when I was a teenager, I was a big fan of Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. They were by no means the first, nor the last to record this song, but theirs is my favourite version.
Songwriters Bobby Scott and Ric Marlow wrote this as the theme to a play of the same name by Shelagh Delaney that was made into a movie in 1961. This instrumental version was recorded by piano player Martin Denny and won a Grammy for Best Instrumental Theme.
In 1966, Alpert received Grammys with his version of the song in three different categories: Best Instrumental Arrangement; Best Instrumental Performance, Non-Jazz; and Record of the Year. In addition, Larry Levine (the engineer for this song) received a Grammy with Alpert’s version for Best Engineered Recording – Non-Classical.
This song has been recorded both as an instrumental and as a vocal by so many artists it would make your head spin. The Beatles recorded it in 1962, and Tony Bennett in 1964. Acker Bilk recorded an instrumental version in 1963 that reached #16 in the UK. Barbra Streisand also recorded it in 1963. I had never heard The Beatles version, so tonight I listened to it, thinking I might play it alongside Herb Alpert’s. Um … no. I like The Beatles, mind you, but … not their rendition of this song. I also listened to Streisand’s version, and again, while I love Barbra … no, just no. And so, tonight you get … Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass …