When Rodgers and Hart wrote "My Funny Valentine" for the 1937 Broadway musical Babes in Arms it wasn't a centerpiece song. In fact, it is believed by many critics and theater buff at the time, that it was used as filler and strictly for some simple goofy laughs. The lyric is basically poking fun at the whole sentiment of romance and sweet nothings.
The song started seeping into the repertoire of many a jazz act in the 1940's and by the 1950's, thanks to Gerry Mulligan Quartet picking it as a vehicle to showcase the band's trumpet player Chet Baker in 1952, it appearing on Frank Sinatra's Songs for Young Lovers in 1954 and with Chet Baker again-this time featuring his voice-in 1956 on Chet Baker Sings, the song has become ingrained in the psyche of a song for the day of hearts, flowers and boxes of chocolates.
Today the song has appeared on over 1300 albums performed by over 600 artists. It gives us a lot of versions to pick from to say the least. I've decided to bring the Velvet Underground one time chanteuse Nico's ice queen version from 1985 to the club tonight. As I type this it is currently 9°F outside in this city I call home. Seems apropos.
What are you listening to tonight?