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 Posted:   Jul 18, 2015 - 4:31 PM   
 By:   Sir David of Barkeley   (Member)

I don't think I've heard one yet. I've even heard the Sinatra.

I've heard Julie London (a little gimmicky) and Ella Fitzgerald (a contender, but I'm not entirely in love with the Riddle arrangement, for some reason).

 
 Posted:   Jul 18, 2015 - 4:34 PM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Definitive? That's tough. Matt Monro did a fine rendition of it, though (a tad schmaltzy to some ears, but not mine)

 
 Posted:   Jul 23, 2015 - 12:09 PM   
 By:   Ron Pulliam   (Member)

I like Nat King Cole's version.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 23, 2015 - 12:44 PM   
 By:   Preston Neal Jones   (Member)

(Ya know, this thread would have been perfectly acceptable on the General Discussion Board...)

I don't have a personal favorite "Laura" vocal recording, but I will say that there's a very good version sung by a fellow named Raksin. It was a highlight of a musical industry tribute event in the composer's honor, and I heard it on a radio documentary about the composer produced for KUSC-FM by Jon Burlingame.

I wish I could share it with you, but here, at least, is Raksin's rendition at the piano:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTVVqUT_pDw

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 23, 2015 - 6:06 PM   
 By:   OnyaBirri   (Member)

I don't think I've heard one yet. I've even heard the Sinatra.

I've heard Julie London (a little gimmicky) and Ella Fitzgerald (a contender, but I'm not entirely in love with the Riddle arrangement, for some reason).


Well, I think that Julie's IS the definitive version. She sounds like the dream of Laura that she is singing about.

And which Frank version are you referring to, the 1940s Columbia version or the 1950s Capitol version? The latter, with a gorgeous arrangement by Gordon Jenkins, is superb.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 23, 2015 - 11:22 PM   
 By:   TheFamousEccles   (Member)

I don't know about 'definitive', but my favorite vocal version is the one that Stan Kenton recorded, with his band singing the tune - to me, there's something utterly marvelous, mysterious, and longing about it. I think it's because the vocals are so unadorned and simple - I don't know what it is about it, but I love it, and when I want to listen to a version with the vocal, it's either this one, or the really brilliant one that Sir Richard Rodney Bennett recorded for his Mercer album "Way Ahead of the Game", where, again, the sort of simplicity of the vocal works wonders for the song.

I do love Raksin's performance as well, but then, I'm always very fond of hearing composers interpret their own work (even if I seldom think it's the 'best' or 'definitive' version of something - but I love the look into the thought process, and there's often some 'new' color or shade of meaning in their interpretations that I find valuable.)

 
 Posted:   Jul 24, 2015 - 12:17 PM   
 By:   Sir David of Barkeley   (Member)


Well, I think that Julie's IS the definitive version. She sounds like the dream of Laura that she is singing about.


But all that echo stuff I find a drag. I wonder if I could re-process it to get rid of it. Hmmm.


And which Frank version are you referring to, the 1940s Columbia version or the 1950s Capitol version? The latter, with a gorgeous arrangement by Gordon Jenkins, is superb.


Columbia.

I haven't heard the Capitol, and I do like GJ a lot of the time, so I'll have to look for it (even if I'm not always wild about FS singing when he became the hard-drinking finger-snapping, dame-slapping nightbird*).

*paraphrased from Jules Feiffer.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 24, 2015 - 6:29 PM   
 By:   manderley   (Member)

I would think that the "definitive" vocal version of "Laura" should be something recorded in the original 1944-45 period of the film.

In that regard, here are the top 5 charting versions, with the Woody Herman version selling
more than a million copies (of 78s).

•Woody Herman and His Orchestra (Woody Herman, vocal, #4)
•Johnnie Johnston (with Paul Baron and His Orchestra, #5)
•Freddy Martin and His Orchestra (#6)
•Jerry Wald and His Orchestra (Dick Merrick, vocal, #8)
•Dick Haymes (with Victor Young and His Orchestra, #9)

I've heard the Dick Haymes version many times and, being a child of the '40s, I've always liked
that one. Haymes was actually a replacement for Sinatra in Dorsey's band when Frank left to go on his own.

Dick Haymes had a mellow voice like Sinatra and was particularly popular on records, radio, and movies, and often had hits on Decca of other songs of that period, as well as recreations of tunes from his own films at Fox.

I remember many of Haymes' versions of songs from this period particularly "Laura", the 1945 "State Fair" album, "Golden Earrings", and others, so he must have been ubiquitous, even in a kindergartner's musical memories. (Plus.....you can't beat Victor Young as a melodic arranger/conductor.)

 
 Posted:   Jul 27, 2015 - 6:53 PM   
 By:   Sir David of Barkeley   (Member)



And which Frank version are you referring to, the 1940s Columbia version or the 1950s Capitol version? The latter, with a gorgeous arrangement by Gordon Jenkins, is superb.


A darned interesting arrangement, I must say.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uXPeBRt1fM

The vocal, though..... I always want to give him a warm cup of cocoa, his voice always sounds so worn at this time.

 
 Posted:   Jul 27, 2015 - 6:55 PM   
 By:   Sir David of Barkeley   (Member)

Definitive? That's tough. Matt Monro did a fine rendition of it, though (a tad schmaltzy to some ears, but not mine)

A very smooth, lounge-y arrangement, which I like. (Who did it?)

Definitely definitive for the period in which it was recorded (mid to late 60's?)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G03-lzDo5WE

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 27, 2015 - 8:27 PM   
 By:   OnyaBirri   (Member)


The vocal, though..... I always want to give him a warm cup of cocoa, his voice always sounds so worn at this time.


To each his own. Frank is at his absolute vocal peak, both from a technical and interpretive standpoint, in the 1950s. I think you may be transferring some of what you hear in later Reprise Frank into these earlier recordings.

 
 Posted:   Jul 28, 2015 - 11:41 AM   
 By:   jackfu   (Member)

Spike Jones' version is pretty definitive.
eek
Sorry, but it really was the first version I heard as a child, and it still rattles around in my head at the mention of the name "Laura".

 
 Posted:   Jul 28, 2015 - 3:50 PM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

Now that I'm back home, I can check my database ... smile

I have seven vocal versions of this favourite song / melody:

- Tony Bennett (1959) with Frank De Vol
- Vic Damone (1962?) with Billy May?
- Ella Fitgerald (1964) with Nelson Riddle
- Frankie Laine (1958) with Michel Legrand
- Matt Monro (1966) with Sid Feller
- Andy Williams (1964) with Robert Mersey
and
- Frank Sinatra (1957) with Gordon Jenkins

The Sinatra version was the first (a compilation vinyl LP in the mid-70s) when I had no idea of the song's source. It remains my clear favourite. I'd like to hear/own his 1947 recording with Axel Stordhal.

In addition, I have another eight instrument versions - together with the film score (1944) - Alfred Newman and David Raksin's own re-recording (1975) - these being:

- Nat 'King' Cole (1952)
- Percy Faith (1959)
- Ron Goodwin (1976)
- Bert Kaempfert (1970)
- Gordon Langford (1970)
- Mantovani (1958)
- Felix Slatkin (1961)
- John Williams, Boston Pops (1992)

But I've never thought to compare them ... I simply love the melody smile

Mitch

 
 Posted:   Jul 28, 2015 - 4:19 PM   
 By:   Sir David of Barkeley   (Member)


- Matt Monro (1966) with Sid Feller


Mitch


I love Sid Feller! Thanks, Mitch. I'll have to look into finding Matt Monro ?– Here's To My Lady. It looks like it was never on cd, though.

http://www.discogs.com/Matt-Monro-Heres-To-My-Lady/master/393661

 
 Posted:   Jul 29, 2015 - 12:43 AM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)


- Matt Monro (1966) with Sid Feller


Mitch


I love Sid Feller! Thanks, Mitch. I'll have to look into finding Matt Monro ?– Here's To My Lady. It looks like it was never on cd, though.

http://www.discogs.com/Matt-Monro-Heres-To-My-Lady/master/393661


Hi David,

Matt Monro's 1966 album Here's to My Lady with Sid Feller (11 tracks) was released on CD here in the UK as a double-header with This Is The Life! ... also with Sid Feller / 1966 - see:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/This-Life-Heres-My-Lady/dp/B000005RRV/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1438151539&sr=1-1&keywords=matt+monro+here%27s+to+the+ladies

Sid Feller also contributed half of the arrangements on Matt Monro's 1967 album These Years plus six singles from the same era.

Mitch

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 29, 2015 - 5:38 AM   
 By:   Tall Guy   (Member)

Mitch - even though I've come to expect it, I still haven't ceased to be amazed by your organisational skills!

C

 
 Posted:   Jul 29, 2015 - 5:58 AM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

Mitch - even though I've come to expect it, I still haven't ceased to be amazed by your organisational skills!

C


You are too kind ... though another way to look at it: I'm somewhat OCD when it comes to something I like ... smile

Mitch

 
 Posted:   Jul 29, 2015 - 6:12 PM   
 By:   CH-CD   (Member)


I always liked the Gordon MacRae version, with Jay Alexander at the baton......

https://youtu.be/2HxvCkaUn68

 
 Posted:   Jul 30, 2015 - 9:12 AM   
 By:   Stefan Huber   (Member)



And which Frank version are you referring to, the 1940s Columbia version or the 1950s Capitol version? The latter, with a gorgeous arrangement by Gordon Jenkins, is superb.


A darned interesting arrangement, I must say.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uXPeBRt1fM

The vocal, though..... I always want to give him a warm cup of cocoa, his voice always sounds so worn at this time.


I've read your comment, David, but I still recommend that you'd check all of his Capitol albums. You're missing a lot (IMHO, of course). "Where Are You?" also has the ultimate version of "Autumn Leaves" - can't listen to it - it's so sad...

 
 Posted:   Jul 30, 2015 - 10:07 AM   
 By:   Sir David of Barkeley   (Member)

Mitch - even though I've come to expect it, I still haven't ceased to be amazed by your organisational skills!

C


You made me notice that his entries were in alphabetical order. That's a well-ordered mind! smile

 
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