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Evening Song – Blues In The Night

June 20, 2016

If young people (a phrase which when used as here means something like “anyone born in the last six decades”) know Howard Arlen and Johnny Mercer’s title song to the 1941 film Blues In The Night, it’s not from William Gillespie’s original soundtrack version, or from any of the six(!) cover versions that reached the Billboard charts in the next decade.

No, “Blues In The Night” is best known today for the slinky, sensual, brassy arrangement recorded by Quincy Jones and his Orchestra. Why? Because that’s the version used in the “Recruiting Saul” scene from the 2001 remake of Ocean’s Eleven.

Since George Clooney (with sidekick Brad Pitt) opens that scene (“We need Saul.” “He won’t do it, got out of the game a year ago.” “He get religion?” “Ulcers.” “You could ask him.” “Hey, I could ask him.”), let’s hear the version his aunt, Rosemary Clooney, took to #29 on the Billboard charts back in 1952.

 

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