My Funny Valentine

My Funny Valentine

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"My Funny Valentine" is a show tune
Show tune
A show tune is a popular song originally written as part of the score of a "show" , especially if the piece in question has become a "standard", more or less detached in most people's minds from the original context...

 from the 1937 Richard Rodgers
Richard Rodgers
Richard Charles Rodgers was an American composer of music for more than 900 songs and for 43 Broadway musicals. He also composed music for films and television. He is best known for his songwriting partnerships with the lyricists Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammerstein II...

 and Lorenz Hart
Lorenz Hart
Lorenz "Larry" Milton Hart was the lyricist half of the famed Broadway songwriting team Rodgers and Hart...

 musical Babes in Arms
Babes in Arms
Babes in Arms is a 1937 musical with music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Lorenz Hart and book by Rodgers and Hart. It concerns a teen-age boy who puts on a show with his friends to avoid being sent to a work farm.- Production history:...

 in which it was introduced by former child star Mitzi Green
Mitzi Green
Mitzi Green was an American child actress for Paramount and RKO, in the early talkie era...

. After being recorded by Chet Baker
Chet Baker
Chesney Henry "Chet" Baker, Jr. was an American jazz trumpeter, flugelhornist and singer.Though his music earned him a large following , Baker's popularity was due in part to his "matinee idol-beauty" and "well-publicized drug habit."He died in 1988 in Amsterdam, the...

, Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra
Francis Albert "Frank" Sinatra was an American singer and actor.Beginning his musical career in the swing era with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, Sinatra became an unprecedentedly successful solo artist in the early to mid-1940s, after being signed to Columbia Records in 1943. Being the idol of the...

 and Miles Davis
Miles Davis
Miles Dewey Davis III was an American jazz musician, trumpeter, bandleader, and composer. Widely considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, Miles Davis was, with his musical groups, at the forefront of several major developments in jazz music, including bebop, cool jazz,...

, the song became a popular jazz standard
Jazz standard
Jazz standards are musical compositions which are an important part of the musical repertoire of jazz musicians, in that they are widely known, performed, and recorded by jazz musicians, and widely known by listeners. There is no definitive list of jazz standards, and the list of songs deemed to be...

, appearing on over 1300 albums performed by over 600 artists.

Structure


The basic structure of the song on a c-minor tonic is as follows:
  • C-, C-maj7, C-7, C-6, Abmaj7, F-7, D-7(b5), G7(b9)
  • ditto thru to the F-7, then Db9, Bb7(b9)
  • (bridge) Ebmaj7, F-7, G-7, F-7, Ebmaj7, F-7, G-7, F-7, Ebmaj7, G7(+5),C-,(Bb7,A7) Abmaj7, D-7(b5) G7,
  • C-, C-maj7, C-7, C-6, Abmaj7, D-7(b5) G7(b9), C-, Bb-7 A7, Abmaj7, F-7, Bb7(b9), C-7 (preferred, or Ebmaj7)


This simple and classic structure makes it easy to adapt to other genres and for jazz musicians to improvise over the established chords.

History


Babes in Arms
Babes in Arms
Babes in Arms is a 1937 musical with music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Lorenz Hart and book by Rodgers and Hart. It concerns a teen-age boy who puts on a show with his friends to avoid being sent to a work farm.- Production history:...

 opened at the Shubert Theatre
Shubert Theatre (Broadway)
The Shubert Theatre is a Broadway theatre located at 225 West 44th Street in midtown-Manhattan, New York, United States.Designed by architect Henry Beaumont Herts, it was named after Sam S. Shubert, the second oldest of the three brothers of the theatrical producing family...

 on Broadway
Broadway theatre
Broadway theatre, commonly called simply Broadway, refers to theatrical performances presented in one of the 40 professional theatres with 500 or more seats located in the Theatre District centered along Broadway, and in Lincoln Center, in Manhattan in New York City...

, in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 on April 14, 1937 and ran for 289 performances. In the original play, a character named Billie Smith (played by Mitzi Green
Mitzi Green
Mitzi Green was an American child actress for Paramount and RKO, in the early talkie era...

) sings the song to Valentine "Val" LaMar (played by Ray Heatherton
Ray Heatherton
Ray Heatherton was an American singer, Broadway musical theatre performer, and a popular New York television personality in the early days of the medium.-Early career:...

). In the song, Billie pokes fun at some of Valentine's characteristics, but ultimately affirms that he makes her smile and that she doesn't want him to change. The song first hit the charts in 1945, performed by Hal McIntyre
Hal McIntyre
Hal McIntyre was an American saxophonist, clarinetist, and bandleader....

 with vocals by Ruth Gaylor. It only appeared for one week and hit #16.

Notable recordings


The song is part of the Great American Songbook
Great American Songbook
The Great American Songbook is a hypothetical construct that seeks to represent the best American songs of the 20th century principally from Broadway theatre, musical theatre, and Hollywood musicals, from the 1920s to 1960, including dozens of songs of enduring popularity...

 and has had many notable recordings, including:
  • (1952
    1952 in music
    -Events:*February 26 - Jo Stafford marries bandleader/arranger Paul Weston.*March 21 - First reported Rock and roll riot breaks out at Alan Freed's Moondog Coronation Ball in Cleveland, Ohio...

    ) Chet Baker
    Chet Baker
    Chesney Henry "Chet" Baker, Jr. was an American jazz trumpeter, flugelhornist and singer.Though his music earned him a large following , Baker's popularity was due in part to his "matinee idol-beauty" and "well-publicized drug habit."He died in 1988 in Amsterdam, the...

     had a hit with Gerry Mulligan
    Gerry Mulligan
    Gerald Joseph "Gerry" Mulligan was an American jazz saxophonist, clarinetist, composer and arranger. Though Mulligan is primarily known as one of the leading baritone saxophonists in jazz history – playing the instrument with a light and airy tone in the era of cool jazz – he was also...

    .
  • (1955
    1955 in music
    -Events:*January 1 – RCA Victor announces a marketing plan called "Operation TNT." The label drops the list price on LPs from $5.95 to $3.98, EPs from $4.95 to $2.98, 45 EPs from $1.58 to $1.49 and 45's from $1.16 to $.89...

    ) Frank Sinatra
    Frank Sinatra
    Francis Albert "Frank" Sinatra was an American singer and actor.Beginning his musical career in the swing era with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, Sinatra became an unprecedentedly successful solo artist in the early to mid-1940s, after being signed to Columbia Records in 1943. Being the idol of the...

     included it on his album Songs for Young Lovers
    Songs for Young Lovers
    Songs for Young Lovers is the fifth Studio Album by Frank Sinatra, his first released for Capitol Records. It was released as a 10" LP as a set of eight songs....

    , and it became a performance favorite.
  • (1956
    1956 in music
    -Events:*January 26 – Buddy Holly's first recording sessions for Decca Records take place in Nashville, Tennessee*Roy Orbison signs with Sun Records*January 27 – Elvis Presley's single "Heartbreak Hotel" / "I Was the One" is released...

    ) Ella Fitzgerald
    Ella Fitzgerald
    Ella Jane Fitzgerald , also known as the "First Lady of Song" and "Lady Ella," was an American jazz and song vocalist...

     sang it on her album Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Rodgers & Hart Songbook
    Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Rodgers & Hart Songbook
    Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Rodgers and Hart Songbook is a 1956 album by the American jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald, with a studio orchestra conducted and arranged by Buddy Bregman, focusing on the songs written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart.This album was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in...

    .
  • (1956
    1956 in music
    -Events:*January 26 – Buddy Holly's first recording sessions for Decca Records take place in Nashville, Tennessee*Roy Orbison signs with Sun Records*January 27 – Elvis Presley's single "Heartbreak Hotel" / "I Was the One" is released...

    ) Jimmy Giuffre
    Jimmy Giuffre
    James Peter Giuffre was an American jazz clarinet and saxophone player, composer and arranger. He is notable for his development of forms of jazz which allowed for free interplay between the musicians, anticipating forms of free improvisation.-Biography:Born in Dallas, Texas, of Italian ancestry,...

     included it on his album The Jimmy Giuffre Clarinet.
  • (1956
    1956 in music
    -Events:*January 26 – Buddy Holly's first recording sessions for Decca Records take place in Nashville, Tennessee*Roy Orbison signs with Sun Records*January 27 – Elvis Presley's single "Heartbreak Hotel" / "I Was the One" is released...

    ) Miles Davis
    Miles Davis
    Miles Dewey Davis III was an American jazz musician, trumpeter, bandleader, and composer. Widely considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, Miles Davis was, with his musical groups, at the forefront of several major developments in jazz music, including bebop, cool jazz,...

     recorded this tune several times, first on Cookin' in 1956 and again on the album 1958 Miles, the latter demonstrating the modal approach of Davis and pianist Bill Evans
    Bill Evans
    William John Evans, known as Bill Evans was an American jazz pianist. His use of impressionist harmony, inventive interpretation of traditional jazz repertoire, and trademark rhythmically independent, "singing" melodic lines influenced a generation of pianists including: Chick Corea, Herbie...

    . He recorded it live on his 1964 album My Funny Valentine
    My Funny Valentine (album)
    My Funny Valentine: Miles Davis in Concert is a 1965 live album by Miles Davis. It was recorded at a concert at the Philharmonic Hall of Lincoln Center, New York City, NY, on February 12, 1964....

    .
  • (1958
    1958 in music
    -Events:*February - 45,000 peoplein one week watch performances of "rokabirī" music by Japanese singers at the first Nichigeki Western Carnival....

    ) Dolores Duran
    Dolores Duran
    Dolores Duran was a Brazilian singer and composer.Adiléia Silva da Rocha debuted at age 10 on the radio. Two years later, when her father died, she started to work on the television, too...

     sang it on her album A Noite de Dolores.
  • Sergio Franchi
    Sergio Franchi
    Sergio Franchi was an Italian tenor.Franchi was born in Cremona, Italy. His father wanted him to become an electrical engineer, so he studied both music and engineering simultaneously. The family moved to South Africa in 1952, where Sergio worked part-time as a draftsman, while continuing to study...

     recorded a version for his 1965 RCA Victor Album tribute to The Songs of Richard Rodgers.
  • (1966
    1966 in music
    -Events:*January 3 – Hullabaloo shows promotional videos of The Beatles songs "Day Tripper" and "We Can Work it Out".*January 8 – Shindig! airs for the last time on ABC, with musical guests the Kinks and the Who...

    ) Kazuko Matsuo from Sigh of Night.
  • (1967
    1967 in music
    The summer of 1967 is "The Summer of Love" in San Francisco. It also became an important year for psychedelic rock, with releases from The Beatles The summer of 1967 is "The Summer of Love" in San Francisco. It also became an important year for psychedelic rock, with releases from The Beatles The...

    ) The Supremes
    The Supremes
    The Supremes, an American female singing group, were the premier act of Motown Records during the 1960s.Originally founded as The Primettes in Detroit, Michigan, in 1959, The Supremes' repertoire included doo-wop, pop, soul, Broadway show tunes, psychedelic soul, and disco...

     recorded a version for their album The Supremes Sing Rodgers & Hart
    The Supremes Sing Rodgers & Hart
    The Supremes Sing Rodgers & Hart is a 1967 album recorded by The Supremes for Motown. The album is wholly composed of covers of show tunes written by the songwriting duo of Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart...

    .
  • (1973
    1973 in music
    -January–April:*January 9 – Mick Jagger's request for a Japanese visa is rejected on account of a 1969 drug conviction, putting an abrupt end to The Rolling Stones' plans to perform in Japan during their forthcoming tour.*January 14...

    ) Jerry Garcia
    Jerry Garcia
    Jerome John "Jerry" Garcia was an American musician best known for his lead guitar work, singing and songwriting with the band the Grateful Dead...

     together with keyboard player Merl Saunders
    Merl Saunders
    Merl Saunders, was an American multi-genre musician who played piano and keyboards, favoring the Hammond B-3 console organ.-Biography:...

     released it on the album Live at the Keystone, providing a psychedelic reading of the tune.
  • (1985
    1985 in music
    This is a list of notable events in music that took place in the year 1985.-January–March:*January 1 - The newest music video channel, VH-1, debuts on American cable. It is aimed at an older demographic than its sister station, MTV...

    ) Singer songwriter Nico
    Nico
    Nico was a German singer, lyricist, composer, musician, fashion model, and actress, who initially rose to fame as a Warhol Superstar in the 1960s...

     recorded it on the album Camera Obscura
    Camera Obscura (album)
    Camera Obscura is the name of an experimental avant-garde music album recorded and released by Nico in 1985. It was produced by John Cale, marking their first studio collaboration since The End in 1974...

    , a singular jazz
    Jazz
    Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...

     standard on an album of progressive jazz
    Jazz fusion
    Jazz fusion is a musical fusion genre that developed from mixing funk and R&B rhythms and the amplification and electronic effects of rock, complex time signatures derived from non-Western music and extended, typically instrumental compositions with a jazz approach to lengthy group improvisations,...

    , rock
    Rock music
    Rock music is a genre of popular music that developed during and after the 1960s, particularly in the United Kingdom and the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, itself heavily influenced by rhythm and blues and country music...

     and electronica
    Electronica
    Electronica includes a wide range of contemporary electronic music designed for a wide range of uses, including foreground listening, some forms of dancing, and background music for other activities; however, unlike electronic dance music, it is not specifically made for dancing...

    .
  • (1986) Linda Ronstadt
    Linda Ronstadt
    Linda Ronstadt is an American popular music recording artist. She has earned eleven Grammy Awards, two Academy of Country Music awards, an Emmy Award, an ALMA Award, numerous United States and internationally certified gold, platinum and multiplatinum albums, in addition to Tony Award and Golden...

     played it on her album For Sentimental Reasons
    For Sentimental Reasons (Linda Ronstadt album)
    For Sentimental Reasons is a million-selling, Platinum-certified album by American singer/songwriter/producer Linda Ronstadt, released in late 1986. The album reached #46 on Billboards main album chart as well as #3 on the Top Jazz Albums chart...

    .
  • (1986) Billy Eckstine
    Billy Eckstine
    William Clarence Eckstine was an American singer of ballads and a bandleader of the swing era. Eckstine's smooth baritone and distinctive vibrato broke down barriers throughout the 1940s, first as leader of the original bop big-band, then as the first romantic black male in popular...

     Album: "Billy Eckstine sing with Benny Carter. Label Verve, Emercy
  • (1987) Guitarist Larry Coryell
    Larry Coryell
    Larry Coryell is an American jazz fusion guitarist.-Biography:Coryell was born in Galveston, Texas. He graduated from Richland High School, in Richland, Washington, where he played in local bands The Jailers, The Rumblers, The Royals, and The Flames. He also played with The Checkers from nearby...

     performed a cover from the album Toku Do.
  • (1989) The song is played over the closing credits of the movie The Fabulous Baker Boys
    The Fabulous Baker Boys
    The Fabulous Baker Boys is a 1989 American romantic drama musical film written and directed by Steve Kloves, and starring real life brothers Jeff Bridges and Beau Bridges as two brothers struggling to make a living as lounge jazz pianists in Seattle...

    , sung by Michelle Pfeiffer
    Michelle Pfeiffer
    Michelle Marie Pfeiffer is an American actress. She made her film debut in 1980 in The Hollywood Knights, but first garnered mainstream attention with her performance in Brian De Palma's Scarface . Pfeiffer has won numerous awards for her work...

    .
  • (1995) Rachelle Ferrell
    Rachelle Ferrell
    Rachelle Ferrell is an American singer and musician. Although she has had some success in the mainstream R&B, pop, gospel, and classical music scene, she is most noted for her talents as a contemporary jazz singer.-Biography:...

     performed this song in her album First Instrument.
  • (1995) This song was included in the motion picture soundtrack "Waiting to Exhale
    Waiting to Exhale
    Waiting to Exhale is a 1995 romance film starring Whitney Houston and Angela Bassett, directed by Forest Whitaker. The movie was adapted from the 1992 novel of the same name by Terry McMillan. Loretta Devine, Lela Rochon, Dennis Haysbert, Michael Beach, Gregory Hines, Donald Faison and Mykelti...

    ", and was performed by Chaka Khan
    Chaka Khan
    Chaka Khan , frequently known as the Queen of Funk, is a 10-time Grammy Award winning American singer-songwriter who gained fame in the 1970s as the frontwoman and focal point of the funk band Rufus. While still a member of the group in 1978, Khan embarked on a successful solo career...

    .
  • (1996) Dianne Reeves
    Dianne Reeves
    Dianne Reeves is an American jazz singer. She currently lives in Denver, Colorado.-Early life:Reeves was born in Detroit, Michigan to a very musical family. Her father, who died when she was two years old, was also a singer. Her mother, Vada Swanson, played trumpet. A cousin, George Duke, is a...

     performed this song in her album '"The Palo Alto Sessions 1981-1985.
  • (1999) The French singer-songwriter Damien Saez
    Damien Saez
    - Early life :Damien Saez was born in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, Savoie, on 1 August 1977, where he lived until the age of 3–4 years before his family moved to Marseille...

     performed this song in his album Jours Etranges.
  • (1999) Matt Damon
    Matt Damon
    Matthew Paige "Matt" Damon is an American actor, screenwriter, and philanthropist whose career was launched following the success of the film Good Will Hunting , from a screenplay he co-wrote with friend Ben Affleck...

     sang this song on the motion picture soundtrack "The Talented Mr. Ripley
    The Talented Mr. Ripley (film)
    The Talented Mr. Ripley is a 1999 American psychological thriller written for the screen and directed by Anthony Minghella. It is an adaptation of the Patricia Highsmith 1955 novel of the same name, which was previously filmed as Plein Soleil .The film stars Matt Damon as Tom Ripley, Gwyneth...

    ", accompanied by The Guy Barker
    Guy Barker
    Guy Barker is an English jazz trumpeter and composer. Barker was born in Chiswick, London, the son of an actress and a stuntman. He started playing the trumpet at the age of twelve, and within a year had joined the National Youth Jazz Orchestra...

     International Quintet.
  • (2001) Tony Award winner Kristin Chenoweth recorded this song for her album Let Yourself Go.
  • (2002) Guitarist Chuck Loeb
    Chuck Loeb
    Chuck Loeb is a guitarist who performs numerous styles of music, most notably jazz. Loeb's own solo projects have generally been commercially successful crossover jazz, which has "contemporary" or "smooth" jazz....

     covered the song from his album My Shining Hour.
  • (2002) Contemporary jazz-fusion group Pieces of a Dream
    Pieces of a Dream (band)
    Pieces of a Dream is an American R&B/jazz group from Philadelphia. The group was formed in 1976 by bassist Cedric Napoleon, drummer Curtis Harmon, and keyboardist James Lloyd. At the time, the three were all teenagers...

     covered the song from their album Love's Silhouette.
  • (2003) Trumpeter Chris Botti
    Chris Botti
    Christopher Stephen "Chris" Botti , is an American trumpeter and composer. In 2007, Botti was nominated for two Grammy Awards including Best Pop Instrumental Album. On December 4, 2009, he was nominated for three more Grammy Awards including Best Pop Instrumental Album and Best Long Form Music Video...

     covered the song from album A Thousand Kisses Deep
    A Thousand Kisses Deep
    A Thousand Kisses Deep is the sixth studio album by trumpet player Chris Botti. It was released by Columbia Records on September 13, 2003. Guest vocalists include Chantal Kreviazuk on "The Look of Love" and Bridget Benenate on "Ever Since We Met"...

    .
  • (2008) Sal Viviano included it on his live symphonic album The Standards Of Love.
  • (2009) Joshua Bell
    Joshua Bell
    Joshua David Bell is an American Grammy Award-winning violinist.-Childhood:Bell was born in Bloomington, Indiana, United States, the son of a psychologist and a therapist. Bell's father is the late Alan P...

     and singer Kristin Chenoweth
    Kristin Chenoweth
    Kristin Chenoweth is an American singer and actress, with credits in musical theatre, film and television. She is best known on Broadway for her performance as Sally Brown in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown , for which she won a Tony Award, and for originating the role of Glinda in the musical...

     covered the song on the album At Home with Friends.
  • (2009) Fay Claassen  in Odeon Theatre Amsterdam. On album 'Two Portraits of Chet Baker
    Chet Baker
    Chesney Henry "Chet" Baker, Jr. was an American jazz trumpeter, flugelhornist and singer.Though his music earned him a large following , Baker's popularity was due in part to his "matinee idol-beauty" and "well-publicized drug habit."He died in 1988 in Amsterdam, the...

    '
  • (2011) Jenna Ushkowitz sings this song in Fox series Glee
    Glee (TV series)
    Glee is an American musical comedy-drama television series that airs on Fox in the United States, and on GlobalTV in Canada. It focuses on the high school glee club New Directions competing on the show choir competition circuit, while its members deal with relationships, sexuality and social issues...

    .
  • (2011) Vanessa Williams
    Vanessa L. Williams
    Vanessa Lynn Williams is an American pop-R&B recording artist, producer, dancer, model, actress and showgirl. In 1983, she became the first woman of African-American descent to be crowned Miss America, but a scandal generated by her having posed for nude photographs published in Penthouse magazine...

     sings in TV series Desperate Housewives
    Desperate Housewives
    Desperate Housewives is an American television comedy-drama series created by Marc Cherry and produced by ABC Studios and Cherry Productions. Executive producer Cherry serves as Showrunner. Other executive producers since the fourth season include Marc Cherry, Bob Daily, George W...

    .
  • Keith Jarrett
    Keith Jarrett
    Keith Jarrett is an American pianist and composer who performs both jazz and classical music.Jarrett started his career with Art Blakey, moving on to play with Charles Lloyd and Miles Davis. Since the early 1970s he has enjoyed a great deal of success in jazz, jazz fusion, and classical music; as...

    .

Reception


In a 2006 survey of people between 10 and 49 years of age in Japan, Oricon Style
Oricon
, established in 1999, is the holding company at the head of a Japanese corporate group that supplies statistics and information on music and the music industry in Japan. It started as , which was founded by Sōkō Koike in November 1967 and became known for its music charts. Oricon Inc...

 found "My Funny Valentine" to be the fifth most popular Valentine's Day
Valentine's Day
Saint Valentine's Day, commonly shortened to Valentine's Day, is an annual commemoration held on February 14 celebrating love and affection between intimate companions. The day is named after one or more early Christian martyrs named Saint Valentine, and was established by Pope Gelasius I in 496...

 song in Japan. The most popular song was Sayuri Kokushō
Sayuri Kokushō
is a Japanese actor, singer, and tarento. She was an original member of Onyanko Club. She works for the talent management firm Sony Music Artists. Her debut single, Valentine Kiss, is the most popular Valentine's Day song in Japan.- Brief biography :...

's 1986 debut single "Valentine Kiss
Valentine Kiss
is the solo debut J-pop single from Sayuri Kokushō released on February 1, 1986 by CBS Sony in Japan. Kokushō was the eighth member of Onyanko Club. The B-side song was ....

" followed by "Love Love Love" from Dreams Come True, "Valentine's Radio" from Yumi Matsutoya
Yumi Matsutoya
', nicknamed , is an influential Japanese singer, composer, lyricist and pianist. She is renowned for her idiosyncratic voice, and live performances, and is an important figure in Japanese popular music....

, and "Happy Happy Greeting" from the KinKi Kids
KinKi Kids
is a Japanese duo consisting of Koichi Domoto and Tsuyoshi Domoto under the talent agency Johnny & Associates. Although the members share the same surname, the only relation they have to each other is that they both hail from the Kinki region, hence the duo's name....

.