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Ella Fitzgerald - Cry Me A River (Verve Records 1961)

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Published on Nov 23, 2011

"Cry Me a River" is a popular American torch song, written by Arthur Hamilton and first published in 1953, and made famous in the version by Julie London, 1955.

A jazzy blues ballad, "Cry Me a River" was originally written for Ella Fitzgerald to sing in the 1920s-set film, Pete Kelly's Blues (released 1955) but the song was dropped. It has been said that it was dropped because, at the time of Ella's recording, film and record producers said that the audience would not believe that a "colored/black" person would know what the word Plebeian meant nor would they use it. They were afraid that Ella's vocals combined with the use of such an "intelligent" word would upset their target audience.

Fitzgerald first released a recording of the song on Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie! in 1961.

The song's first release and most famous recording was by actress/singer Julie London in 1955, backed by Barney Kessel on guitar and Ray Leatherwood on bass. A sultry performance of the song by London in the 1956 film The Girl Can't Help It helped to make it a million-selling blockbuster (#9 US/#22 UK). London's recording was later featured in the soundtrack's for the movies 'Passion of Mind (2000), and V for Vendetta (2005).

Barbra Streisand sang this song on her 1963 debut album as the opening track of Side 1. In 1970, British blues rocker Joe Cocker made the chart with an upbeat rock rendition on the album, Mad Dogs and Englishmen. In 1995, British actress Denise Welch's double A-side "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" / "Cry Me a River" spent three weeks in the UK Singles Chart, reaching #23. Canadian jazz pianist and singer Diana Krall recorded the song on her 2001 album, The Look of Love. In 2009, Canadian singer Michael Bublé entered the charts with a big-band jazz version, which is also the opening track of his fourth album Crazy Love. This adaption of the song was used in the BBC's advertising and theme music for coverage of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Ella Jane Fitzgerald (April 25, 1917 – June 15, 1996) was an American jazz vocalist with a vocal range spanning three octaves (D♭3 to D♭6). Often referred to as the "First Lady of Song," the "Queen of Jazz" and "Lady Ella," she was noted for her purity of tone, impeccable diction, phrasing and intonation, and a "horn-like" improvisational ability, particularly in her scat singing.

Fitzgerald was a notable interpreter of the Great American Songbook. Over the course of her 60-year recording career, she sold 40 million copies of her 70-plus albums, won 13 Grammy Awards and was awarded the National Medal of Arts by Ronald Reagan and the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George H. W. Bush.

Ella's accompanied by Lou Levy (piano); Herb Ellis (guitar); Joe Mondragon (bass); and Gus Johnson (drums). Recorded June 23, 1961, Los Angeles (Verve Records)

Now you say you're lonely
You cried the long night through
Well, you can cry me a river
Cry me a river
I cried a river over you
Now you say you're sorry
For being so untrue
Well, you can cry me a river
Cry me a river
I cried a river over you
You drove me,
Nearly drove me out of my head
While you never shed a tear
Remember?
I remember all that you said
Told me love was to plebeian
Told me you were through with me
Now you say you love me
Well, just to prove you do
Cry me a river
Cry me a river
I cried a river over you
You drove me
Nearly drove me out of my head
While you never shed a tear
Remember?
I remember all that you said
Told me love was to plebeian
Told me you were through with me...
And now you say you love me
Well, just to prove that you do...
Come on! Come on!
Cry me a river...
Cry me a river...
I cried a river over you
I cried a river over you...

  • Category

  • License

    • Standard YouTube License
  • Song

  • Artist

    • Ella Fitzgerald
  • Album

    • The Platinum Collection
  • Writers

    • Arthur Hamilton
  • Licensed by

    • UMG (on behalf of Not Now Music); CMRRA, UBEM, PEDL, ASCAP, ARESA, Warner Chappell, and 8 Music Rights Societies

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