I’m a Fool to Want You


I’m a Fool to Want You – words and music: Joel S. Herron, Frank Sinatra, and Jack Wolf

Because the song was written during Sinatra’s stormy affair with Ava Gardner as his first marriage as well as his recording and film careers were in tailspin, the song is closely associated with Gardner and the Sinatra-Gardner relationship. They were married on 7 November 1951, ten days after Sinatra’s divorce from Nancy Barbato became final.

1951 I'm a Fool to Want You-Frank Sinatra-Columbia 4-39425 (45 rpm)

Frank Sinatra with the Ray Charles Singers (Charles Raymond Offenberg) — recorded, with orchestra directed by Axel Stordahl, on 27 March 1951, and issued in June 1951 on Columbia 39425 (78 rpm) and Columbia 4-39425 (45 rpm), as the B-side of “Mama Will Bark”



Billie Holiday – Session #85, New York, 19 February 1958 with Ray Ellis and his Orchestra (Columbia) — Mel Davis Billie Butterfield Bernie Glow (tp) Urbie Green (tb) Gene Quill (as) Hank Jones (p) Barry Galbraith (g) Milt Hinton (b) Osie Johnson (d) Billie Holiday (v) + strings and choir, released on the album Lady in Satin, June 1958.

There appear to be at least four released versions: two issued in June 1958 on separate versions of Lady in Satin, mono and stereo*, and two released on the 1997 CD re-issue of the album. Those four:

  • 1.) take #3 mono version, from Lady in Satin, Columbia ‎CL 1157  — released in June 1958
  • 2.) take #3 stereo version, from Lady in Satin, Columbia CS 8048 — released in June 1958, if Wikipedia is correct*
  • 3.) take #3, stereo version made from the original 1958 mono track — released on the 1997 CD re-issue of Lady in Satin, Columbia ‎CK 65144, Legacy ‎ CK 65144
  • 4.) take #2 — released on the 1997 CD re-issue of Lady in Satin

(below) Chanel No 5 commercial directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, featuring Audrey Tautou, long version (2’20”); the music, extracted from one the versions of Holiday’s take #3, begins at about 1:20


Frank Sinatra — recorded on 1 May 1957, arranged and conducted by Gordon Jenkins, released in 1957 on the album Where Are You? — It was Sinatra’s first recording for Capitol, and his first stereo recording.



Lee Morgan — recorded on 8 February 1960, Bell Sound Studio B, NYC; released on the 1960 album Here’s Lee Morgan

Lee Morgan(tp) Clifford Jordan (ts) Wynton Kelly (p) Paul Chambers (b) Art Blakey (d)


(above, left) Bennett’s 1959 studio album Hometown, My Hometown, (right) in studio c.1960

Tony Bennett in recording studio, January 1960 — photo by Don Hunstein

Tony Bennett — from the album To My Wonderful One, released in 1960 – arranged and conducted by Frank De Vol


Maysa — from Maysa Sings Songs Before Dawn, released in 1961


Maysa Figueira Monjardim (June 6, 1936, São Paulo, Brazil – January 22, 1977, Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) [1], better known as Maysa Matarazzo or simply Maysa, daughter of Alcibíades Guaraná Monjardim and wife Inah Figueira and paternal granddaughter of Manuel Silvino Monjardim and wife Ursulina Guaraná, was a singer, composer, and actress from Brazil. She is also associated with Bossa nova music but is widely known as a torch song (fossa) interpreter. [read more]


Donald Byrd — recorded on 21 September 1961 at Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ
Donald Byrd (tp) Pepper Adams (bars) Herbie Hancock (p) Butch Warren (b) Billy Higgins (d)
– released on the album Royal Flush (Blue Note BLP 4101)


Elvin Jones — recorded live at The Lighthouse Cafe, Hermosa Beach, CA, 2nd set, 9 September 1972 — Steve Grossman (ts, ss) Dave Liebman (ts, ss, fl) Gene Perla (b) Elvin Jones (ds)


Dexter Gordon — recorded on 27 May 1965 at Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ —
Freddie Hubbard (tp) Dexter Gordon (ts) Barry Harris (p) Billy Higgins (d), no bass, according to Gordon catalog at jazzdisco.org; released on the 1965 album Clubhouse


Shirley Bassey — originally released on her 1968 album 12 of Those Songs, (UK) Columbia SCX 6204 (Stereo), Columbia SX 6204 (Mono)


Linda Ronstadt — from Lush Life, released in 1984, the second in a trilogy of albums made by Ronstadt in collaboration with bandleader/arranger Nelson Riddle


1989 Four-Chet Baker in Tokyo-Paddle Wheel (Japan) ‎K28P6495Chet Baker-Almost Blue-live in Paris and Tokyo

Chet Baker — recorded live at “Hitomi Kinen Kodo,” Tokyo, Japan, on 14 June 1987;  — originally issued on the 1989 album Four: Chet Baker in Tokyo, (Japan) Paddle Wheel ‎K28P6495, (Europe) Paddle Wheel K28P 6495, (Germany) Paddle Wheel K32Y 6281; later reissued on the following compilation CDs:

Chet Baker – trumpet, Harold Danko – piano, Hein Van De Geijn – bass, John Engels – drums



* According to Wikipedia, the original stereo version of Lady in Satin was released in the same year as the original mono version, and the release of one or both is dated June 1958. RateYourMusic.com dates both Columbia CL 1157 and Columbia CS 8048 June 1958. At Discogs.com, on the other hand, while CL 1157 (Mono) is dated 1958, two copies of the US stereo release Columbia CS 8048 are each identified as an undated reissue.


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