Song No. 30 — My Funny Valentine | Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart (1937)

Andyara Peixoto - Quando Os Peixotos Encontram (1957) a

My Funny Valentine was introduced in 1937 by Mitzi Green in “Babes in Arms”, the musical which yielded two more classics, Where or When and The Lady is a Tramp. Unlike those, the quality of My Funny Valentine had not been recognized whereupon the song was not included in the 1939 movie version of the show starring Judy Garland.

In 1945, the first recording failed as well, done by Hal McIntyre and his orchestra with Ruth Gaylor on vocals. Only Chet Baker’s solo, featured in a recording session by the Gerry Mulligan Quartet in late 1952 at the empty San Francisco Blackhawk nightclub, resurrected the ballad. Followed by Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra and most notably Miles Davis in the mid-fifties, My Funny Valentine was finally established as one of the great ballads of modern jazz.

Richard Rodgers & Lorenz HartWhile probably the first Brazilian release of My Funny Valentine was by french-born Bernard Hilda in 1953, the first Brazilian recording was made in 1957 by trumpeter Arakén Peixoto and pianist Moacir Peixoto who performed their version on the family album Quando Os Peixotos Encontram, which also featured vocals by Cauby Peixoto and Andyara Peixoto on several songs.

The next year, pianist Alan Gordon and vocalist/drummer Hugo Lander issued My Funny Valentine on their album Dois Americanos no Rio, misleading their audience with the album title since they were born in China and Romania, respectively.

In Brazil, My Funny Valentine was recorded about sixty times throughout the decades, most notably by Dolores Duran in 1959, who recorded the song with the rarely performed introduction, Moacyr Marques in 1960 and, unsurprisingly, by Dick Farney who performed the song four times on record between 1960 and 1975.

Selected recordings of My Funny Valentine:

1. Arakén Peixoto & Moacir Peixoto from the album Quando Os Peixotos Encontram (1957, RGE XRLP 5008)

Various - Quando Os Peixotos Encontram (1957) a    Various - Quando Os Peixotos Encontram (1957) b

2. Alan Gordon & Hugo Lander from the album Dois Americanos no Rio (1957, Rádio 0060-GV)

Alan_Gordon_&_Hugo-Lander_01    Alan_Gordon_&_Hugo-Lander_02b

3. Zito Righi aka Bob Fleming from the albums Sax in Hi-Fi (1958, Masterpiece Master 553) andEste é Bob Fleming – Album No. 2 (1962, Audiola/Musidisc AD-03)

Bob Fleming — Sax in Hi-Fi (a)    Bob Fleming — Sax in Hi-Fi (b)

4. Moacyr Silva from the album Meia Noite no Meia-Noite (1958, Todamérica LPP-TA-312)

Moacyr_Silva_&_Copinha_01a    Moacyr_Silva_&_Copinha_01b

5. Dolores Duran from the EP Dolores Duran no ‘Michel’ de São Paulo (1959, Copacabana CEP-4568)

    Dolores Duran - Dolores Duran no 'Michel' de São Paulo (1959) b

6. Djalma Ferreira from the album Depois do Drink (1959,  Discos Drink DF-LPP-13.004)

Djalma Ferreira & Seus Milionários do Ritmo — Depois do Drink (a)

Djalma Ferreira & Seus Milionários do Ritmo — Depois do Drink (inside)

Djalma Ferreira & Seus Milionários do Ritmo — Depois do Drink (b)
Art work for Depois do Drink by Frama with an uncredited photograph

7. Moacyr ‘Bijú’ Marques from the album Jazz & Bossa Nova (1960, Tiger LP TR-005)

Moacyr Marques ‘Bijú’ — Jazz & Bossa Nova (a)    Moacyr Marques ‘Bijú’ — Jazz & Bossa Nova (b)

8. Dick Farney from the album Canções Para a Noite de Meu Bem (1960, Odeon MOFB 3153)

Dick Farney - Canções Para a Noite de Meu Bem (1960) a    Dick Farney - Canções Para a Noite de Meu Bem (1960) b

9. Luiz Cláudio from the album O Romântico Luiz Cláudio (1961, RCA Victor BBL 1111)

Luiz Cláudio — O Romántico Luiz Claudio (a)    Luiz Cláudio — O Romántico Luiz Claudio (b)

10. Dick Farney & Leny Andrade from the album Dick Farney Apresenta Sua Orquestra no Auditório de O Globo (1962, RGE USLP 500003)

Dick Farney - Dick Farney Apresenta Sua Orquestra no Auditório de O Globo (1962) a    Dick Farney - Dick Farney Apresenta Sua Orquestra no Auditório de O Globo (1962) b

11. Cipó from the album Aqui Começa o Mundo Maravilhoso da Música – A Fantástica Orquestra de Stúdio (1964, Imperial/Odeon IMP 30.063)

Cipó - Aqui Começa o Mundo Maravilhoso da Música – A Fantástica Orquestra de Stúdio (1964) a    Cipó - Aqui Começa o Mundo Maravilhoso da Música – A Fantástica Orquestra de Stúdio (1964) b

12. Os Poligonais from the album Novas Idéias (1966, Farroupilha LPFA-421)

Os_Poligonais_02a    Os_Poligonais_02b

13. Dick Farney from the album Dick Farney e Você (1974, London/Odeon LLB 1101-S)

Dick_Farney_27a    Dick_Farney_27b

14. Dick Farney from the album Um Piano ao Cair da Tarde No. 2 (1975, Odeon SMOFB 3893)

Dick_Farney_28

Comparative recordings of My Funny Valentine:

1. Hal McIntyre with Ruth Gaylor from the single My Funny Valentine b/w Saturday Night (Is the Loneliest Night in the Week) (1945, Bluebird Records [USA] 30-0837)

2. The Gerry Mulligan Quartet from the album Gerry Mulligan Quartet (1953, Fantasy [USA] 3-6)

Gerry_Mulligan_Quartet_01_1953

Preface_Item_AltaFelididade_2nd_short_without-logo

MY FUNNY VALENTINE

Be hold the way our fine feathered-friend • His virtue doth parade • Thou knowest not my dim witted friend • The picture Thou hast made • Thy vacant brow and Thy tousled hair • Conceal Thy good intent • Thou noble upright, truthful, sincere • And slightly dopey gent, you are

My funny valentine • Sweet comic valentine • You make me smile with my heart

You looks are laughable, unphotographable • Yet you’re my favorite work of art

Is your figure less than greek • Is your mouth a little bit weak • When you open it to speak, are you smart?

Don’t change a hair for me • Not if you care for me • Stay little valentine, stay

Each day is valentine’s day

Preface_Item_AltaFelididade_2nd_short

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