Today is Irving Berlin's birthday; he'd be 120 (except he passed away in 1989). With a repertoire like his, where do you even start? He wrote music an
May 10, 2008

Today is Irving Berlin's birthday; he'd be 120 (except he passed away in 1989). With a repertoire like his, where do you even start? He wrote music and lyrics for thousands of songs, from "God Bless America" and "White Christmas" to "Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better," "Puttin' on the Ritz," and "How Deep is the Ocean"... and "Blue Skies, a personal fave. But even with "Blue Skies," what direction? Frank Sinatra? Ella Fitzgerald? Willie Nelson? Count Basie? Rod Stewart? Fiona Apple? Dozens of people have covered the Berlin classic. So I decided to go to a version that Berlin didn't write. This was one that BT (Brian Transeau) wrote and then got Tori Amos to do some lyrics for. It came out in 1996 on his Ima album and then on the Party of Five TV soundtrack LP (put together by yours truly). By early 1997 it was the #1 dance song in the U.S.

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