11
Sep
16

beautiful love

zita-johann.

The first time I ever heard this song was in the ’50s, when my grandmother let me stay up late to watch the Boris Karloff film, The Mummy, on her round-screen TV. It was a haunting tune that accompanied the first appearance of the movie’s starlet, Zita Johann, who played Helen Grosvenor, the modern-day reincarnation of the princess Ankh-es-en-amon.

The tune stuck with me all this time, but I never knew its title is “Beautiful Love” until a couple nights ago when I heard an interview with the musician Nels Cline, guitarist with Weezer, who had also been introduced to it through this old horror classic. He said that the song had been composed in 1931 by Victor Young, although through a little research I learned that Young also shared the credits for this popular waltz with Wayne King and Egbert Van Alstyne (lyrics by Haven Gillespie).

It was introduced by the Wayne King Orchestra in 1931. The song has been called his “second favorite number,” but it has been covered by many other performers since then, too. The following “Grooves” are just a few.

If you have time for only one, please give Nils Cline’s version a listen. It is in my opinion the richest, and it pays homage to the song’s historical roots.

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karloff-and-johann.

۞

Grooves of the Day

Listen to Bing Crosby performing “Beautiful Love”

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Listen to Anita O’Day performing “Beautiful Love”

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Listen to the Bill Evans Trio performing “Beautiful Love”

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Listen to Nels Cline performing “Beautiful Love”

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Weather Report

80° Cloudy and Rain

 


1 Response to “beautiful love”


  1. 1 elizabeth t.
    September 11, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    Oh my goodness! I clicked on the music link and was taken back to 1960! I was a high school exchange student in Finland the last half of 1960, and from time to time I would hear this song either on the radio or on Finnish “muzak”, with Finnish lyrics, absolutely none of which come to mind. I never knew the origin of the tune, but I enjoyed it whenever I heard it, and still do, as it turns out! This song as well as the theme from “Never On Sunday” (“Ei koskaan sunnuntaisin”) were on Finnish radio a lot back then.


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