From My Way, out September 14 on Sony Legacy.
Another one from Willie’s tribute to Frank Sinatra. “One for My Baby” is a classic Johnny Mercer lyric set to a complex Harold tune, originally written for the 1943 Fred Astaire film, The Sky’s the Limit. The scene in which it appears features my all-time favorite dance routine as Astaire drunkenly trashes the hotel bar.
Frank owns it though. Of course he does. It’s the perfect sad sack, drunken, breakup song, which all real Sinatra fans prefer to his ring-a-ding-ding happy songs.
Willie’s version is fine. Mickey Raphael’s distinctive harmonica makes it sound like Willie but the orchestration is a little too generic and snoozeworthy. The strings obscure what otherwise distinguishes this arrangement: Willie’s guitar flourishes and some tasteful pedal steel. It would be much better without the lush stuff.
But hey, Willie’s a legend and can do whatever he wants.
From The Sky’s the Limit, 1943.
From Frank Sinatra Sings for Only the Lonely, 1958.