My Funny Valentine, Many Ways

Some popular songs explode into our consciousness then disappear just as quickly. Big hits that are ubiquitous, then forgotten: a one-hit-wonder’s signature tune, theme to a hit movie, dance club favorite.

Others are more lasting. They’re seemingly born fully grown, fully realized, already familiar. Many artists might record it, seeking to explore the deep truth within the song.

Such is My Funny Valentine, by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart. Below, some examples from among the 600 artists known to have recorded versions of the song. I’ve included two by Chet Baker (one early in his career, one near the end) because he had such an obvious connection to it.

Enjoy and appreciate the song’s own genius, as interpreted by great artists.

Chet Baker, Torino, Italy (1959)

Etta James (date unknown)

Frank Sinatra, Capital Recordings (1953)

Miles Davis, Milan, Italy (1964)

Tony Bennett (date unknown) 

Chet Baker, Tokyo (1987)

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