The song is “Memphis In June” and it was written in 1945 by Paul Francis Webster and Hoagy Carmichael I assume it was written for the movie “Johnny Angel” since the movie came out the same year. Hoagy recorded it himself but it looks like the most famous version was Nina Simone. Like many folks said on Facebook, “The Nearness of You” is my very favorite Hoagy Carmichael song but I really this lazy summertime tune too.
Rejoice gentle reader! You have been spared a self indulgent, overly long, and rambling post that had absolutely nothing to do with this song anyway. It was about something I read on Twitter that made me think about how show folk find the gumption to get back up on the proverbial horse and try again after they’ve bombed. Since I have an opinion about EVERYTHING whether I know what I’m talking about or not, I’m sure the subject will pop up again later.
“I Get Along Without You Very Well” and “The Nearness Of You” are my two favorite Hoagy Carmichael songs. I saw an album cover which claimed that Carmichael was “The First Of The Singer Songwriters.” That’s clearly an exaggeration, but he was one of the few composers of his time who also gained notoriety as a performer. Here’s another bit of trivia. He was also a lawyer for a short time before becoming a musician.
This particular song was written in 1939 with lyrics inspired by poet Jane Brown Thompson. There are several excellent versions on You Tube. I chose this Billie Holiday version. It was recorded in 1959 quite near the end of her brief life. Her voice was very frail at this point but still lovely.
So I’ve been doing a bit of writing lately. What, you may ask, has that got to do with today’s song? Not much, except it is a torch song and, as it happens, I write trashy romance. It’s always the same basic story. They meet. They fall in love. Boinking ensues. They’re torn apart by their tragic flaws. The power of love is too strong so once again they are reunited. Then more boinking ensues and they live happily ever after. In romance novels, the only variety is in the window dressing.