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Frank Sinatra - Old Man River (1946)

Friday, May 27, 2011


Lovely Video of Frank Sinatra singing Old Man River

The song was first performed in the original stage production of Show Boat on December 27, 1927, by Jules Bledsoe, who also sang it in the part-talkie 1929 film and, although that film version had little to do with the stage musical. Bledsoe also recorded the song years later. However, the most famous rendition of it, one that is still noted today, was sung by Paul Robeson in James Whale's classic 1936 film version of Show Boat. (Robeson had first performed the song in the 1928 London production of the show and in the 1932 Broadway revival.) The song became an American classic, and was performed by many musicians and musical groups, including Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra, Bix Beiderbecke, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Sam Cooke, Al Jolson, Screaming Jay Hawkins, Django Reinhardt, Ray Charles, Jim Croce, Jimmy Ricks and the Ravens, The Beach Boys, The Jeff Beck Group, and Aretha Franklin. William Warfield sang it in the 1951 Technicolor film version of Show Boat in another rendition that became very famous. (It became his signature song, and he performed it several times on television and in several stage revivals of Show Boat.) Melvin Franklin, the famous bass singer of The Temptations, performed it at most concerts, eventually making it his signature song. Judy Garland, one of the few female singers to attempt the song, sang a powerful and unforgettable[neutrality is disputed] rendition on her television show in 1963, followed by a studio recording.

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