Isn’t It Romantic
Isn’t It Romantic? (m. Richard Rodgers, w. Lorenz Hart)
It was introduced by Jeanette MacDonald and Maurice Chevalier in the Paramount film Love Me Tonight (1932). It has since been recorded numerous times, with and without vocals, by many jazz and popular artists. It has also since been featured in a number of movies, including several other Paramount films, such as Preston Sturges’ The Lady Eve (1941) and The Palm Beach Story (1942), and several Billy Wilder films, including A Foreign Affair (1948) and Sabrina (1954). It’s also featured in the 1999 remake of The Out-of-Towners.
Love Me Tonight (1932)
In Love Me Tonight, the song is used in a sequence in which it is first sung by Maurice Chevalier, a tailor, and then taken up by others (his customer, a cabby, a composer, a troop of soldiers, a band of gypsies) and is finally heard and sung by a princess, played by Jeanette MacDonald.
selected early recordings:
Tom Berwick & the Ritz Carlton Orchestra — B-side of 78 rpm Electradisk single Please (m. Ralph Rainger, w. Leo Robin) (catalog #1900), issued in 1932
The provider says,
Recorded in New York on September 28, 1932. Vocal Refrain by Rex Blaine. Tom Berwick is probably a pseudonym for Sid Peltyn and His Orchestra.
The fact that 78discography.com has Rex Blaine as a vocalist for the Gene Kardos Orchestra in one series, and Gene Kardos identified as the leader of the Rex Blaine Orchestra in another suggests that Rex Blaine was a pseudonym for Gene Kardos. Among the names used for bands led by Gene Kardos, according to the 78 discography of Electradisk (label) recordings, were the Pennsylvania Collegians, the Rex Blaine Orchestra, the New Yorkers, and the Gloria Palace Orchestra, with three of the names used for sessions on the 13th and 14th of June 1932.There are four names for bands led by Sid Peltyn on the same two dates.
Bert Ambrose and his Orchestra at the May Fair Hotel, London — recorded in London, 3 November 1932; issued as HMV B 6271, c/w Love Me Tonight
Roy Fox and his Band, vocal: Jack Plant — recorded 8 December 1932, according to the DJ
selected post-1950 recordings:
Chet Baker Quartet — according to jazzdisco.org, “probably” recorded at Gold Star Studios, Los Angeles, CA, on 15 December 195; issued in 1953 on the 10 inch album Pacific Jazz PJLP-3, Chet Baker Quartet
- Chet Baker: trumpet
- Russ Freeman: piano
- Red Mitchell: bass
- Bobby White: drums
Chet Baker Quartet — recorded live on 12 August 1953 at the Carlton Theater in Los Angeles
From the 2000 CD compilation (partially reissued) Chet Baker Quartet Live, Vol. 1: This Time the Dream’s On Me (Pacific Jazz Records #7243 5 25248 2 2)
A product description of the CD at Amazon.com says,
The 1954 [recorded in 1954, released in 1955] album Jazz at Ann Arbor accounts for eight tracks on this CD; what accounts for this rest is quite amazing: a recently discovered recording thought to be the first live appearance by the Chet Baker Quartet! Includes Maid in Mexico; This Time the Dream’s on Me; All the Things You Are; My Funny Valentine; My Old Flame , and more, with brilliant performances throughout.
- Chet Baker: trumpet
- Russ Freeman: piano
- Carson Smith: bass
- Larry Bunker: drums
Bengt-Arne Wallin — recorded in Stockholm on 18 February 1955 — Musica label (Sweden) 78 rpm 10″ single (A 3409) b/w The Last Time I Saw Paris (Kern, Hammerstein III)
Mel Tormé – from It’s a Blue World, album recorded 28-30 August 1955
A review by Mark Ruhlmann for allmusic.com says,
The 15-piece orchestra assembled by his accompanist Al Pellegrini backed the singer, and Pellegrini, Sandy Courage, Andre Previn, Marty Paich, and Russ Garcia wrote the arrangements Tormé sang with delicate precision, caressing the lyrics. Despite the album title, his interpretations had none of the darkness of Sinatra. Rather, Tormé invested the songs with warmth and confidence. Recorded and released around the time he turned 30, It’s a Blue World marked a turning point in Mel Tormé’s recording career.
Ella Fitzgerald — from the 1956 Verve LP Sings the Rodgers and Hart Songbook, produced by Norman Granz, recorded 21-31 August 1956
Jimmy Raney Quintet — recorded 23 July 1956 and released on the 1956 ABC- Paramount LP Jimmy Raney Quintet featuring Bob Brookmeyer (ABC 129) — Bob Brookmeyer (valve trombone), Dick Katz (piano), Jimmy Raney (guitar), Teddy Kotick (bass), Osie Johnson (drums)
Chet Baker — Belgium, 1964
Chet Baker: flugelhorn, vocal
Jacques Pelzer: alto sax, flute
Rene Urtreger: piano
Luigi Trussardi: bass
Jack Jones — from the 1969 RCA Victor LP Without Her
Beegie Adair with the Jeff Steinberg Orchestra — from the 2002 LP I’ll Take Romance
Rod Stewart — track 8 on Stardust: the Great American Songbook, Volume III, released 19 October 2004
The album was Rod Stewart’s first #1 on the Billboard 200 since Blondes Have More Fun in 1979. Rod Stewart also won his first, and only, Grammy when the album also won the Award for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album in 2004 (2004 in music).