Yesterdays


Yesterdays (Jerome Kern, Otto Harbach) was introduced in the Broadway  musical Roberta, based on the novel Gowns by Roberta by Alice Duer Miller. Among the songs composed for the show, two “Yesterdays” and “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes,” became very popular standards. The original Broadway production opened at the New Amsterdam Theatre on November 18, 1933, and ran for 295 performances. The Broadway show Roberta was adapted for a 1935 film of the same by RKO starring Irene Dunne, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, and Randolph Scott.

Leo Reisman and his Orchestra, vocal by Frank Luther, 1933

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Irene Dunne in the film Roberta (1935)

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Artie Shaw and his Orchestra 1938

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Helen Merrill — from her self-titled debut album, recorded 22-24 December 1954

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Clifford Brown –– from the LP Clifford Brown with Strings  — recorded at Fine Sound Studios, NYC, 18-20 January 1955

Clifford Brown (tp)
Richie Powell (pf)
Barry Galbraith (g)
George Morrow (b)
Max Roach (ds)
Neal Hefti (arr, cond)
6 violins, 2 violas, 1 violoncello

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Billie Holiday – Live session #51 [live recording] New York 10 November 1956 Carnegie Hall Concerto (Verve) – Second Show (midnight) – Buck Clayton (t) Tony Scott (cl) Al Cohn (ts) Carl Drinkard (p) Kenny Burrell (g) Carson Smith(b) Chico Hamilton (d) Billie Holiday (v)

Yesterdays was one of eight songs performed in the second show of the evening which began at midnight. Billieholidaysongs.com says of the double session

Maybe the best live recording session of Lady’s career, accompanied by several of her loyal companions. Billie is perfect, although her voice is failing. The show was planned to commemorate the edition of her autobiographic book “Lady Sings The Blues”, some paragraphs being read during the performance. The professional recording of the show resulted in an excellent sound quality. Two sessions were held that evening.

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Wes Montgomery – film footage of a live performance, recorded in NY for television – 1965

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