Uploaded on Sep 12, 2008
British balladeer Matt Monro (1930-1985) sings "I Get Along Without You Very Well" (written by Hoagy Carmichael). This version is arguably better than Frank Sinatra's classic version. Monro was sometimes called the "British Sinatra," and Sinatra himself praised Monro's talent.
Although Monro achieved only moderate chart success in America, he was very popular internationally, recording hit songs such as the theme songs from the James Bond movie "From Russia With Love" and the film "Born Free." His vocal style influenced many younger singers, including Karen Carpenter, Cass Elliot, and Michael Buble. (Karen is seen briefly at the end of this video "listening" to Matt.)
Compilations of his songs continue to sell well today, more than 20 years after his death, as new generations discover his deep, rich, velvet voice.
In his 1994 book, "The Carpenters: The Untold Story," Ray Coleman wrote that Karen Carpenter admired Matt Monro so much that she sometimes imitated his pronunciation in the recording studio, for example, pronouncing "you" as "yew." At such times, her brother Richard would tease her that she was on her "Matt Monro kick."
Richard also commented in this book, "We should have been doing a lot more songs of the caliber of 'I Get Along Without You Very Well.'"
This piqued my interest, so I wrote to Richard's website to ask: Did he and Karen actually record a still-unreleased version of this song? Or was he just speaking hypothetically?
Richard Carpenter responded:
"No, not hypothetically. While Karen was in the hospital in New York, I made her some multi-artist cassettes to help her pass the time. On one I put 'I Get Along Without You Very Well' sung by Matt Monro. Karen had always been a fan of his, but had not heard his version of the Hoagy Carmichael standard until this (1982). She called and thanked me for the tape and singled this track out, wanting to sing it herself. Between both our illnesses, we'd lost enough time in the studio and I knew A&M would want us to do new stuff upon our return, so I suggested we pass. Of course, Karen was gone shortly thereafter and I am still upset that we didn't record not only this standard, but any number of others. Karen was born to sing great ballads and, let's face it, they're just not writing too much now that possess much melody or great lyrics."
Matt Monro photos from:
Matt Monro video:
Richard Carpenter's website: