Sunday, June 22, 2008

2008: Anno Domenico - Jane Morgan

Selecting coverversions for Anno Domenico, the Volare year, isn't an easy task. Hearing the same song over and over again should come with a health warning. There's some hundreds lined up for re-listening and then I always like to find out some more about the artist and before I know it another few hours of my life have been whiled away on the world wide web trying to read languages I don't speak and decypher scripts I can't read . But I often end up concluding that most of the great and interesting Volares are made in America. Crooners, Moviestars and Blonde Bombshells with gorgeous picture sleeves do it for me all the time and so here's another one from that category.
And it's by an American singer who has some more Eurocovers to her name, so that's a bonus for all to be enjoyed.

Jane Morgan
Jane Morgan is an American singer born in 1924 whose first big hit was Fascination in 1957. The song, originally a French toujour-vert from 1932, featured in the Billy Wilder movie Love In The Afternoon (with Audrey Hepburn, Gary Cooper, Maurice Chevalier) and became a top 10 hit for Jane Morgan in the U.S.. The follow up hit The Day The Rains Came (Gilbert Becauds Le Jour Où La Pluie Viendra) ended just outside the top 20 in the States but was a #1 hit in the U.K.
Her fondness for reworking French classics is no surprise as her career started out in France where she toured and worked for four years prior to her American breakthrough.

The 1958 LP The Day The Rains Came (KAPP records KL - 1105) includes Jane Morgans version of Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare). A adequate version laced with sugary violins, sung in Italian and English.

The 2nd Eurocover Jane Morgan recorded was an English version of Romantica, the Italian entry from 1960 (6th place, originally by Renato Rascel). A much better effort than Volare with a wonderful orchestral arrangement. She even took the song to the UK charts (39/5) (UK single: London HLR 9120). It has also appeared on various Jane Morgan LP's.

Udo Jürgens' Walk Away (Warum Nur Warum, Austria 1964, 6th) (Extensively featured in this Eurocovers post) was the third Euro-classic on Morgans repertoire. The song was released on her 1969 LP Traces Of Love (RCA 4171).

But it's a less known song which is my top favourite from the Jane Morgan Eurocovers collection.

My Poor Heart Feels Like Breaking
The opening line of the debut entry for Ireland in 1965, Walking The Streets In The Rain by Butch Moore (what's in a name). It describes the sentiment of the indeed heartbreaking tale about rain and tears and streets very well. The Streets became a blueprint for many Irish entries to follow and it's one of the saddest songs in anyones Eurovision collection.
The song ended 6th in Eurovision and was an Irish #1 for the original singer, but it has only been covered a few times.
Jane Morgans version with the appropriate rain-droppy violin intro was released in 1965 on the EP Maybe (Epic 9008, Portuguese edition pictured above) and on her LP Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye (Epic LN 24247). In the UK it was a b-side to the Maybe single (Columbia).

There have been several compilation CDs with Jane Morgans hits, but I haven't found a CD with any of the Eurovision covers.

Source: An extensive Jane Morgan biography is here at E-notes.

2008: Anno Domenico is a tribute to Domenico Modugno's Eurovision classic Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare) which conquered the world 50 years ago. Eurocovers highlights half a century of remarkable coverversions of the Italian evergreen. Other American Volares already featured are by Doo-wop stars The Platters, gay basher Anita Bryant, James Dean love interest Pier Angeli, Box Tops hero Alex Chilton, Disco Crooner Al Martino, soul singer Jesse Belvin and from last year Jazz Legend Ella Fitzgerald.
And with this search link you'll get all the Volare posts.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Really Gr8 ! Thanks For sharing..