Thursday, April 14, 2016

Song Of The Day "Harlem Nocturne' by The Viscounts & Others

So okey today's song isn't really a song but the instrumental classic "Harlem Nocturne" a one hit wonder cover for the Viscounts. Or a twice hit wonder since the band released it twice as a single charting high on Billboard Hot 100 each time. First in 1959, when it peaked at #53, and again in 1966, peaking at #39. The tune was written in 1939 by Earle Hagen and Dick Rogers. Earl went on to a prolific career composing TV themes among his scores were The Andy Griffith Show, Dick Van Dyke, That Girl & The Mod Squad.

I used to work for Val's Halla a record store institution in Oak Park IL. and for a year or so this would be the final song of the day as we closed. There have been over 500 covers of this venerable classic making it one of the most covered tunes in modern history. Here we present a couple of versions to start out we have the 8+ minute lp version by the Viscounts.

And a nifty cover by the New York Ska-Jazz Ensemble. A group I never knew existed and will have to explore further.

And if you still hunger for more Nocturne here is a post from the WFMU blog that has 42 versions. Click here and wail on daddyO.

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