Anatomy Of A Song – A Geezer’s Lament

This edition of Anatomy Of A Song features a classic tune that hits the target in a couple of ways. First and most obvious, “September Song” names a month that is close by. But what makes it really perfect for the Geezer Music Club is that it’s a song that was originally an old man’s lament.wh

The guy who introduced the song in a 1938 Broadway musical was no spring chicken himself. Canadian-born Walter Huston was in his fifties at that time, and already a renowned actor (and founder of a show biz dynasty) when he was offered the lead in Knickerbocker Holiday. Although he wasn’t much of a vocalist, he insisted on a solo song in the show and the producers hired Kurt Weill and Maxwell Anderson to write it.

The Broadway show was not a huge success, and the song itself was seldom recorded by others in subsequent years. But when a recording of his singing performance was later featured in the 1950 romantic film September Affair, it found new life and became a best-selling record. Unfortunately, Huston had died earlier that year (as had Kurt Weill).

In the years after, “September Song” became a pop standard, although modern crooners like Sinatra and Tony Bennett usually sang different lyrics to play down the geezer aspects a little. In fact, it has also been recorded by a lot of female singers too. Sarah Vaughan and Ella Fitzgerald both made outstanding versions, and even Lotte Lenya made a record of the song — but that only seems right, because she was married to its composer for many years.

fscdFrank Sinatra – “September Song”


2 thoughts on “Anatomy Of A Song – A Geezer’s Lament

  1. A lot of great posts lately. The Dream Weavers were about par for 1955-56. I would luv to see a Billy & Lillie post one of these days. Looking forward to your words about the talented duo. If ya need anything by them, let me know.


  2. Appreciate the kind words, and thanks for the tip on Billy & Lillie. As I’ve said before, I love to spotlight performers who are less remembered (but in some cases more talented) than the big stars.


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