Monday, January 2, 2012

Erroll Garner Plays "Misty" (1954)

"Misty" is a jazz standard written in 1954 by the pianist Erroll Garner.

Originally composed as an instrumental following the traditional 32-bar format, the tune later had lyrics by Johnny Burke and became the signature song of Johnny Mathis, reaching #12 on the U.S. Pop Singles chart in 1959. It has been covered numerous times, perhaps most notably by Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan (1959), Billy Eckstine (1960), Frank Sinatra and Earl Grant (1961), Lloyd Price (1963), and also by Ray Stevens (1975) as a country song. Lesley Gore included a version of the song on her debut album, I'll Cry If I Want To.[1] Joni James recorded a version of "Misty" accompanied by acoustic guitar on her 1963 album, Like 3 O'Clock in the Morning. A version was also recorded by Julie London and an instrumental version by The Shadows.

Erroll Garner's version of the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1991,[2] and Johnny Mathis version of the song was inducted in 2002. The 1975 country version by Ray Stevens won a Grammy in the category of Music Arrangement of the Year.

The song plays a key role in the plot of the movie Play Misty for Me (1971). Clint Eastwood and Universal paid $25,000 to use the song in the film.

In an infamous scene from the twentieth episode of the fifth season [3] of Magnum, P.I., Tom Selleck, as Magnum, is forced to sing the first few lines of the song (before being mercifully interrupted by gunfire) in a karaoke bar, in what has become notorious as one of the worst renditions of the song ever committed to film.

In 1993, guitarist Larry Coryell covered the song from his album "Fallen Angel."[4]

That same year, alto saxophonist Dave Koz covered the song from his album "Lucky Man."[5]

Clay Aiken recorded the song on his 2010 album Tried and True.


1.^ Unterberger, R.. "I'll Cry If I Want To". Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-08-08.
2.^ Grammy Hall of Fame
3.^ "The Man From Marseilles"
4.^ "Fallen Angel overview".
5.^ "Lucky Man overview".

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