By now, regular visitors to the GMC have noticed that things have been kind of wacky for the last day or so. For some reason there appear to be some formatting errors in the system used by my blog host.
While I am waiting for it to get fixed I thought it might be a good time to try a completely new look. I’ll be tinkering with it for a while, and might eventually go back to the original (it appears to now be fixed) but it’s hard to say at this point. Rest assured that all the original stuff is still here and available to you, it just looks a little different.
It’s been almost two months since our last Fantastic Foursome, so for newer visitors I’ll explain that it’s a special feature that presents four different versions of a familiar song (actually five if you count the video) and then offers you the chance to vote for your favorite. Of course, voting is optional but it’s pretty quick and easy to do, and it’s completely anonymous.
Today’s offering is a song that made its biggest splash when it was featured in Casablanca, the 1942 movie that has been picked by many as the best of all time. But “As Time Goes By” was actually written for a Broadway musical a decade earlier and was recorded by several performers in the intervening years, including early crooner Rudy Vallée.
The song was composer Herman Hupfeld’s best-known by far, but the version made famous in Casablanca was not actually the full, original song. When Dooley Wilson sang it in the film he actually started at the chorus, rather than at the true beginning. In subsequent years most singers went with that version because it was familiar, but there were still some who sang the full song. Below you’ll find two of each variation, along with a video. You can vote for your favorite below that.
I’ve always felt a little sorry for performers who get labeled as a ‘one-hit wonder’, but the story of Barbara George is especially poignant. When her 1961 record of “I Know (You Don’t Love Me No More)” became a giant hit on both R&B and pop charts, she seemed to have an unlimited future. But things didn’t always go well for her, and — like all shooting stars — she disappeared from view much too soon.
Born as Barbara Ann Smith in rural Louisiana during World War II, she was raised in New Orleans where she often sang in her church choir. By the time she was in her mid-teens (and married) she was writing her own music and thinking about a singing career. New Orleans was — as always — filled with music and rich with opportunities for new performers, and within a couple of years she’d managed to take the first step by catching the attention of local R&B star Jessie Hill.
Hill matched her up with local music veteran Harold Battiste, who was in the process of trying to get a new record company up and running. Her very first platter for AFO Records featured a song she’d written herself, “I Know (You Don’t Love Me No More).” It soon shot to the top of the R&B charts and it didn’t take it long to cross over and do nearly as well on pop charts. Barbara George was a star.
Unfortunately, it would be her biggest success by far. Subsequent records like “You Talk About Love,” “If You Think,” and “Send for Me (If You Need Some Lovin)’,” didn’t do nearly as well for her even though she changed record companies along the way. Within a few years she’d grown disillusioned by the business and pretty much retired from active performing, although she did make a brief comeback attempt a while later. When she died in 2006 she was a week away from her 64th birthday.
12/6/13 - Formatting errors temporarily make for wacky look.9/25/13 - Dick Stabile's grandson checks in. Read comment HERE.9/14/13 - New special feature: Diamonds In The Rough9/9/13 - Thanks to Mikelj3, who inspired the Billy & Lillie post.8/23/13 - Jimmy Clanton visits GMC! -- see his comment HERE
Anatomy of a Song Country Catalyst Diamonds In Rough
All videos are linked from other sources. Sometimes they are removed or deleted at the original site, which disables them here. Music samples are medium quality and available only for a limited time. Any artists or their reps who request removal, we'll be glad to comply. The same is true of any other copyrighted material used in the creation of this blog.