Earlier today, after morning routines, chores and a bit of reading, I caught up on another instalment of BBC 6 Music’s Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour, the May 23, 2021 edition, “Birthday Mentions Galore.”
A song that really drew me in played about halfway through the program was “Sway,” sung by American singer and actor Rosemary Clooney (1928-2002). While credited only to her in many places, the recording actually comes from her collaboration album with Cuban bandleader (Damaso) Perez Prado (1916-1989), called A Touch of Tabasco, co-released in 1959. (Interesting tidbit courtesy of Wikipedia: Puerto Rican actor and director Jose Ferrer [1912-1992], Clooney’s husband, wrote the liner notes for the album.)
Mexican composer and bandleader Pablo Beltran Ruiz (1915-2008) wrote the song, titled “¿Quién será?” in 1954. American lyricist Norman Gimbel (1927-2018) repaced the original, melancholic words about a lovelorn man with English-language lyrics praising a dance partner’s moves.
The song will be familiar to many of you; it’s appeared in numerous film and TV soundtracks, many of which have featured the 1954 Dean Martin (1917-1995) version. I must say, though, I haven’t heard a recording as powerful as the Clooney/Prado combination.
Now you know a little about why this is my Song of the Day for Today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.
Here’s the audio for the song from the Rosemary Clooney YouTube topic channel:
Unofficial lyrics are courtesy of Genius.com.