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Sunday Morning Sinatra - “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World”

Rodgers and Hart wrote “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World” for the 1935 show Billy Rose’s Jumbo, about a ‘bout-to-go-under circus family and their savior of a publicity man. The show itself isn’t terribly well-remembered, though a 1962 film with Day and Durante did well. “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World” is one of those sheenless tunes that Sinatra and Nelson Riddle dusted off, chewed up, and spit out as a lasting standard. The song was a hit once Sinatra recorded it in the spring of 1966 for the “Strangers in the Night” album. In a television special that aired (I believe) a little earlier that year, A Man and His Music II, Sinatra tells the audience that he and Riddle “bought the old girl a new dress”. And they certainly did: The song as played by Riddle’s band and as sung by Frank is easily twice the speed originally contemplated by Rodgers and Hart. But it works.


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