Duke Ellington and Irving Mills wrote “Prelude To A Kiss” in 1938 but this Billie Holiday version was recorded in 1955. If you compare this recording to the one in my previous post, you can clearly hear what time, illness, and addiction had done to her voice. If you ask me though, the superb command she has over her frail instrument and the depth of feeling she pours into this tune make this the superior kiss song.
Somewhere near the beginning of this blog I talked about the awesome power of early 20th century woo. This song is the perfect example. With repeated exposure to beautiful melodies and heart stopping lyrics like these no wonder “The Greatest Generation” went on to have so many babies! Nowadays the preludes to our kisses often arrive via email exchange. There’s absolutely no poetry or passion it’s true, but at least the communication is clearer. It’s probably best that we’ve dialed down the woo factor anyway. With modern fertility medicine, woo could result in a baby boom that would give China a run for it’s money! By the way, just what the heck are they putting in the love songs over there??