Lullaby of the Leaves

4 02 2011

Lullaby of the Leaves—J. Young/B. Petkere, 1932 (Recorded Feb. 4, 2011) This haunting, melodramatic tune became one of Bernice Petkere’s two biggest jazz-age hits (the other being “Close Your Eyes”) after she joined Irving Berlin’s company as a song writer. Joe Young, the lyricist, is notable for writing words to many songs of the day, including the commonly-heard old standard “Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue” (ukulele players, take note!). I needed a couple of takes to get an acceptable recording of this one. Acceptable, I said—not perfect by any means. It’s a toughy.

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