Strangers in the Night

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"Strangers In the Night"
Strangers In the Night - Frank Sinatra.jpg
Single by Frank Sinatra
from the album Strangers in the Night
B-side "Oh, You Crazy Moon"
ReleasedMay 1966 (1966-05)
Format 45-rpm record
RecordedApril 11, 1966
Genre Traditional pop
Length2:35
Label Reprise [1]
Composer(s)
Lyricist(s)
Producer(s) Jimmy Bowen [1]
Frank Sinatra singles chronology
"It Was a Very Good Year"
(1965)
"Strangers In the Night"
(1966)
"Summer Wind"
(1966)
Audio sample

"Strangers in the Night" is a song credited to Ivo Robic and Bert Kaempfert with English lyrics by Charles Singleton and Eddie Snyder. [1] Kaempfert originally used it under the title "Beddy Bye" as part of the instrumental score for the movie A Man Could Get Killed. [1] The song was made famous in 1966 by Frank Sinatra, although it was initially given to Melina Mercouri, who thought that a man's vocals would suit more to the melody and therefore declined to sing it. [2] [3]

Bert Kaempfert German bandleader

Bert Kaempfert was a German orchestra leader, multi-instrumentalist, music producer, arranger, and composer. He made easy listening and jazz-oriented records and wrote the music for a number of well-known songs, including "Strangers in the Night" and "Moon Over Naples".

Charles Singleton (songwriter) songwriter

Charles Fowler Singleton Jr., known as Charlie "Hoss" Singleton, was an American songwriter, best known for having co-written the lyrics for "Strangers in the Night" and "Moon Over Naples".

Edward Abraham Snyder was an American composer and songwriter. Snyder is credited with co-writing the English language lyrics and music for Frank Sinatra's 1966 hit, "Strangers in the Night".

Contents

Reaching #1 on both the Billboard Hot 100 chart and the Easy Listening chart, [4] it was the title song for Sinatra's 1966 album Strangers in the Night , which became his most commercially successful album. The song also reached #1 on the UK Singles Chart. [5]

The Billboard Hot 100 is the music industry standard record chart in the United States for songs, published weekly by Billboard magazine. Chart rankings are based on sales, radio play, and online streaming in the United States.

The Adult Contemporary chart is published weekly by Billboard magazine and lists the most popular songs on adult contemporary radio stations in the United States. The chart is compiled based on airplay data submitted to Billboard by stations that are members of the Adult Contemporary radio panel. The chart debuted in Billboard magazine on July 17, 1961. Over the years, the chart has gone under a series of name changes, being called Easy Listening(1961–1962; 1965–1979), Middle-Road Singles(1962–1964), Pop-Standard Singles(1964–1965), Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks(1979–1982) and Adult Contemporary(1983–present).

<i>Strangers in the Night</i> (Frank Sinatra album) album by Frank Sinatra

Strangers in the Night is a 1966 studio album by Frank Sinatra. It marked Sinatra's return to number one on the pop album charts in the mid-1960s, and consolidated the comeback he started in 1965. Combining pop hits with show tunes and standards, the album creates a balance between big band and pop instrumentation. The single "Strangers in the Night" also reached number one on the pop single charts, while "Summer Wind" would slowly become a classic, used for television commercials and mood-setting entrances by the 2000s.

Sinatra's recording won him the Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance and the Grammy Award for Record of the Year, as well as a Grammy Award for Best Arrangement Accompanying a Vocalist or Instrumentalist for Ernie Freeman at the Grammy Awards of 1967.

The Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance was a Grammy Award recognizing superior vocal performance by a male in the pop category, the first of which was presented in 1959. It was discontinued after the 2011 Grammy season. The award went to the artist. Singles or tracks only are eligible.

The Grammy Award for Record of the Year is presented by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to "honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to sales or chart position." The Record of the Year award is one of the four most prestigious categories at the awards presented annually since the 1st Grammy Awards in 1959. According to the 54th Grammy Awards description guide, the award is presented:

for commercially released singles or tracks of new vocal or instrumental recordings. Tracks from a previous year's album may be entered provided the track was not entered the previous year and provided the album did not win a Grammy. Award to the artist(s), producer(s), recording engineer(s) and/or mixer(s) if other than the artist.

Ernest Aaron Freeman was an American pianist, organist, bandleader, and arranger. He was responsible for arranging many successful rhythm and blues and pop records from the 1950s to the 1970s.

Authorship disputes

Avo Uvezian

In an interview, Avo Uvezian gave an account of the story behind "Strangers in the Night", stating that he originally composed the song for Frank Sinatra while in New York at the request of a mutual friend who wanted to introduce the two. He wrote the melody after which someone else put in the lyrics and the song was originally titled "Broken Guitar". He presented the song to Sinatra a week later, but Sinatra did not like the lyrics, so they were rewritten and the song was renamed and became known as "Strangers in the Night". [6]

Avo Uvezian American businessman

Avo Uvezian was an Armenian-American cigar manufacturer, jazz pianist and composer.

When asked about why someone else (Kaempfert) was claiming the song, Uvezian went on to say that since Kaempfert was a friend of his and in the industry, he asked him to publish the German version in Germany so the two could split the profits, since Uvezian did not feel he would get paid for his work on the song in the US. Uvezian stated that when he gave the music to Kaempfert the song had already been renamed and lyrics revised. Uvezian also stated that Kaempfert gave him a letter acknowledging Uvezian as the composer. [6]

Ivo Robić

It is sometimes claimed that Croatian singer Ivo Robić was the original composer of "Strangers in the Night," and that he sold the rights to Kaempfert after entering it without success in a song contest in Yugoslavia. This has not been substantiated. Robić—often referred to as "Mr. Morgen" for his 1950s charts success with Morgen, created in collaboration with Bert Kaempfert—was rather the singer of the Croatian-language version of the song, called "Stranci u Noći." [ citation needed ]

Ivo Robić was a Croatian singer and songwriter.

It was published in 1966 by the Yugoslav record company Jugoton under the serial number EPY-3779. On the label of the record, B. Kaempfert and M. Renota are stated as authors, wherein Marija Renota is the creator of the Croatian lyrics. The original composition of "Strangers" was under the title "Beddy Bye"—referring to the lead character William Beddoes—as an instrumental for the score of the movie A Man Could Get Killed.[ citation needed ]

The phrase "Strangers in the Night" was created after the composition, when New York music publishers Roosevelt Music requested that lyricists Snyder and Singleton—fresh off "Spanish Eyes," composed by Kaempfert of "Moon Over Naples" fame—put some words to the tune. "Stranci u Noći" is a literal translation of this phrase.[ citation needed ]

In an interview on Croatian TV with a renowned Croatian composer Stjepan Mihaljinec Ivo Robic stated that he had composed a song Ta ljetna noć (That Summer Night) and sent it to a festival in former Yugoslavia, where it was rejected. Then he sang a first few tunes from that song, identical to the first few tunes from Strangers in the Night (Strangers in the night, exchanging glances...). He added that, later, Bert Kaempfert “composed” for him that very same song, which later became known as Strangers in the Night. [7]

Philippe-Gérard

In 1967 French composer Michel Philippe-Gérard (more commonly known as Philippe-Gérard) established a claim that the melody of "Strangers" was based on his composition "Magic Tango", which was published in 1953 through Chappells in New York. [8] Royalties from the song were thus frozen [9] until a court in Paris ruled in 1971 against plagiarism, stating that many songs were based on similar constant factors. [10]

Recording

The track was recorded on April 11, 1966, one month before the rest of the album. Hal Blaine was the drummer on the record and Glen Campbell played rhythm guitar. [11] At the session an angry Sinatra turned on Campbell, who had been brought in at the last moment. Campbell did not know the song and faked his way through the first take while listening to the tune, making a mistake in the process. Sinatra was used to recording in a single take, and when told he would have to sing it again, he glared at Campbell and shouted, "Is that guy with us or is he sleeping?".

One of the most memorable and recognizable features of the record is Sinatra's scat improvisation of the melody (on take two) with the syllables "doo-be-doo-be-doo" as the song fades to the end. [3] For the CD Nothing but the Best, the song was remastered and the running time is 2:45 instead of the usual 2:35. The extra ten seconds is just a continuation of Sinatra's scat singing.

Sinatra despised the song, calling it at one time "a piece of shit" and "the worst fucking song that I have ever heard." [12] He was not afraid to voice his disapproval of playing it live. In spite of his contempt for the song, for the first time in 11 years he had a #1 hit, and it remained on the charts for 15 weeks.

Cover versions

"Strangers in the Night" was covered by many other artists, among them:

a first version in English (recorded April 2, 1966 - nine days prior to Sinatra's recording), which remains unreleased as of July 2012 [13]
a second Version in English for her 1966 album Movie Greats Of The 60s [14]
in Italian as "Sola più che mai" for her 1967 album Connie Francis canta i suoi best-seller [13]
in Spanish as "No puedo olvidar" for her 1967 album Grandes Exitos del Cine de los Años 60 [14]
in German as "Fremde in der Nacht"
in Croatian as "Stranci u Noći"

The song has been recorded in Spanish by several artists under the title "Extraños en la noche", among them:

Chart performances

ChartPeak
position
UK (Official Charts Company)1
scope="row"US Billboard Hot 100 [16] 1

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Stranac u noći may refer to:

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Rice, Jo (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. p. 101. ISBN   0-85112-250-7.
  2. "Eddie Snyder obituary". The Daily Telegraph . 2011-03-31. Retrieved 2011-04-02.
  3. 1 2 Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 22 - Smack Dab in the Middle on Route 66: A skinny dip in the easy listening mainstream. [Part 1]" (audio). Pop Chronicles . University of North Texas Libraries. Track 3.
  4. Whitburn, Joel (1996). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 6th Edition (Billboard Publications)
  5. Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. pp. 191–2. ISBN   1-904994-10-5.
  6. 1 2 A Manhattan Theft Rooted in a Tale of Songwriting, Sinatra and Cigars
  7. Ivo Robic confirms authorship of Strangers in the night /Ivo Robić je autor pjesme Stranci u noći
  8. "Court Told Music Hit Plagiarized: French Composer Asks $400,000 For Sinatra Record". Toledo Blade. 7 December 1968. p. 4.
  9. "Charge Is Holding Up 'Strangers' Royalties". Billboard. 15 April 1967. p. 52.
  10. "Writer Loses 'Strangers' Case". Billboard. 17 April 1971. p. 50.
  11. Hartman, Kent, The Wrecking Crew: The Inside Story of Rock and Roll’s Best-Kept Secret, Thomas Dunne Books, St. Martin’s Press, New York, 2012, pp.133-134
  12. Summers, Anthony; Swan, Robbyn. Sinatra: The Life. Random House Digital, Inc., New York, 2006, p. 334.
  13. 1 2 Roberts, Ron: Connie Francis Discography 1955 – 1975, revised editions 1979 and 1983
  14. 1 2 Francis, Connie and others: Souvenirs, companion book to 4 CD retrospective "Souvenirs", Polydor (New York) 1995, Kat.-Nr. 314 533 382-2
  15. "Bert Kaempfert Music - Cover Versions". Kaempfert.de. Archived from the original on 2012-07-10. Retrieved 2014-04-06.
  16. "Frank Sinatra Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.