Tuesday, May 28, 2013

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Fred Astaire

Artist:Fred Astaire
Song:The Way You look Tonight
Album:Steppin' Out: Astaire Sings

Of course Fred Astaire is best known as the greatest dancer in the history of films. His 30s films with Ginger Rogers are well loved by fans. But he was underrated as a singer and fans may not be aware that he recorded some of his best known songs with jazz musicians in the 50s. He was born Frederick Austerlitz May 10, 1899 in Omaha and as a child he performed in vaudeville and then on Broadway with his sister Adele. When they split up in 1932, Astaire moved to Hollywood and signed with RKO Radio Pictures. The first time he teamed with Ginger Rogers was in the 1933 film Flying Down To Rio. The success of the film convinced RKO that Astaire and Rogers could be very popular. And they were. Six of their eight films were the highest grossing films in RKO history. The Way You Look Tonight is from the 1936 film Swing Time and was written by Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields. Astaire left RKO in 1940 and continued his film career dancing with partners like Rita Hayworth and Cyd Charisse. Those two are more accomplished dancers than Ginger Rogers. But the chemistry between Astaire and Rogers can't be beat. Astaire retired in 1946 but he returned in 1949 and made some great films in the 50s. In 1952, he agreed to record some of his classic songs for producer Norman Granz. Granz is best known as owner of Verve Records. Astaire recorded with jazz musicians Oscar Peterson on piano, Charlie Shavers on trumpet, Flip Phillips on tenor sax, Barney Kessell on guitar, Ray Brown on bass and Alvin Stoller on drums. The Astaire Story was released as a 4LP box set and the LPs were released individually. This CD is a comp of those recordings. The complete The Astaire Story is not in print. The Astaire Story was named to the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999. Fred Astaire retired from dancing in 1969 but he continued acting until his death on June 22, 1987 at age 88. Here's Fred Astaire performing The Way You Look Tonight from the 1936 film Swing Time.

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