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Happy Valentine's Day Vlog People!
Sam sings for you along with Todd Schroeder on piano.
The Sam Harris version of "My Funny Valentine" is found on his album entitled "Always" which also includes the Stevie Wonder song, "You Are The Sunshine Of My Life".
"My Funny Valentine" is a show tune from the 1937 Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart musical Babes in Arms. It is now considered a jazz standard, appearing on over 1300 albums performed by over 600 artists.
Babes in Arms opened at the Shubert Theatre on Broadway, in New York, New York on April 14, 1937 and ran for 289 performances. In the original play, a character named Billie Smith (played by Mitzi Green) sings the song to Valentine "Val" LaMar (played by Ray Heatherton). In the song, Billie pokes fun at some of Valentine's characteristics, but ultimately affirms that he makes her smile and that she doesn't want him to change.
The first recorded version of the song to make the charts was by Hal McIntyre with vocals by Ruth Gaylor in 1945. It only appeared for one week and hit #16.
The song reemerged in the 1950s and was later performed by most of the jazz musicians and popular vocalists of the time including: Gerry Mulligan, Chet Baker, Frank Sinatra, Johnny Mathis, Ella Fitzgerald, Barbra Streisand, Bing Crosby, Miles Davis, Sarah Vaughan, Stan Getz, Paul Desmond, Tony Bennett, Ben Webster, Buddy Rich, Anita O'Day, Mel Tormé, Sammy Davis, Jr., Big Muff and many others.
The song made it to the top of the charts when Chet Baker released a very popular and influential version (released on the album My Funny Valentine / Blue Note Records). His soft, delicate and serene delivery introduced the world to Chet Baker's singing skills (he was previously known only for his trumpeting skills, also displayed on this recording). Baker is still associated more with "My Funny Valentine" than with any other of the long list of songs he recorded.
Baker's version of the song leaves out the introductory verse and begins with the chorus ("My funny Valentine, sweet comic valentine"). As a result, many subsequent version also skip the verse. The most notable exception to this rule are songs recorded from the many performances of the musicals Babes in Arms and (in the film version) Pal Joey. (The verse is clearly a female voice speaking about her man, giving male singers an additional reason to omit it.)
The B-section, or bridge, is a good example of the quirky approach of lyricist Hart. It begins with a series of accusatory, even rude questions that one wouldn't necessarily expect in a romantic tune. It quickly apologizes for the odd questions with assurances, and then ends with the romantic sentiments of the last two verses.
"My Funny Valentine" is considered part of the Great American Songbook and has had many notable performances, including:
Chet Baker with Gerry Mulligan
Jimmy Giuffre Clarinet.
The Miles Davis Sextet and pianist Bill Evans.
Dinah Shore with Andre Previn
Bill Evans and Jim Hall
The Supremes, Mary Wilson, Diana Ross.
Tom Barman with Guy van Nueten
Over the Rhine
Kanye West sampled Etta James
Babes in Arms (1939) - Judy Garland
Gentlemen Marry Brunettes (1955) - Jeanne Crain
Pal Joey (1957) - Kim Novak
Handicap (1968) - Duke Ellington
Sharky's Machine (1981) - Chet Baker
Let's Get Lost (1988) - Biography of Chet Baker
The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989) - Michelle Pfeiffer
Malice (1993) -Gene Harris
When a Man Loves a Woman (1994)
Waiting to Exhale (1995) - Chaka Khan
The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999) -Matt Damon, with Jude Law, saxophone
The Cooler (2003) - Tierney Sutton
The Company (2003) - Marvin Laird and Clay Ruede, Elvis Costello, Lee Wiley, Chet Baker, and Kronos Quartet.
Ashura (2005) - Sting
The Band's Visit 
Perfect Stranger (2007)
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