Without a Song
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"Without a Song" was recorded twice by Perry Como: the first time on January 11, 1951 and the second time in June 1970 at a live performance at the International Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada. The 1951 recording was issued as a 78 rpm single in the United States by RCA Victor Records (catalog number 20-4033) and in the United Kingdom by HMV (catalog number B-10093). It was also included in a 1957 album, Dream Along With Me (RCA Camden catalog number CAL-403). The 1970 recording was issued on albums by RCA and its United Kingdom, Netherlands, and Japan subsidiaries, but not as a single.
Lawrence Tibbett, Nelson Eddy and Frank Sinatra recorded versions of the song with what appears to be the original lyrics, including the line, "A darkie's born, but he's no good no how, without a song." In subsequent recordings, Sinatra didn't use the term "darkie", and later recorded versions included the altered text "a man is born, but he's no good no how, without a song."
In addition to popular artists like Perry Como, Frank Sinatra, and Tony Bennett and opera singers like Jan Peerce and Mario Lanza, many African-American artists of varying styles also successfully recorded the song. These included a version in "gospel style" of Mahalia Jackson in concert in Berlin, 1967. Others include Oscar Peterson, Louis Armstrong, Art Blakey, Art Tatum, Billy Eckstine (album No Cover, No Minimum), The Ravens, Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, Art Pepper, Adam Rogers, The Isley Brothers, Stevie Wonder, Neil Sedaka, and The Supremes (for their album I Hear A Symphony). Sonny Rollins recorded an instrumental version, on his 1961 "comeback" album, The Bridge. A version was recorded by Stanley Turrentine on his album Never Let Me Go (Blue Note 90838). A version appears on the Rhino reissue of Bill Evans's album You Must Believe in Spring. The jazz singer Jimmy Scott recorded the song on his 2006 album Milestone Profiles - Jimmy Scott on Milestone Records.
- Richard Cohen. "A Face On the Past". http://blacksuperhero.com/articles/art2-Cohen.html.
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