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Sunday Morning Sinatra - “My Funny Valentine”

American standards don’t come much more standard than the immortal tunes penned by Lorenz Hart and Richard Rodgers for the 1936 show Babes in Arms, about a gang of teenagers who put on a musical to save their struggling vaudevillian parents. Hart wrote the sweetly-comic lyrics, and Rodgers the music, for “Where or When”, “I Wish I Were in Love Again”, “The Lady is a Tramp”, and, among others, the truly timeless “My Funny Valentine”. The songs are cynical—but before folks got so serious about their cynicism. Today, they seem sweet. And that is in fitting with the history of Babes in Arms, which was a surprise hit. It was panned by critics. Variety wrote: “No nudity, no show girls, no plush or gold plate may mean no sale,” reflecting ticket agents’ reluctance to push the show. But it took off. And those songs, as Jonathan Schwartz likes to say, will be American classical music.

A very lucky, very pretty, girl once had the chance to be regaled by Frank Sinatra as he sang one of Hart’s best. Frank’s funny valentine? Little Nancy Sinatra.

NOTE: If the video playback is halting, press play, then immediately press the play button again to pause. Now let the video load for a few minutes. Finally, press play again and playback should be normal.


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