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Take Two


Play Misty For Me.jpg

Errol Garner composed Misty in 1954. Apparently he was inspired to write the tune on a flight from San Francisco to Chicago which passed through a thunderstorm. As the plane descended into O'Hare airport. "Garner looked through the window to see a rainbow glowing through a haze, and was moved to begin composing "Misty" on the spot, striking imaginary piano keys on his knees as he hummed the notes he imagined". it seems the person sitting next to him  called a flight attendant thinking Errol was ill. The lyrics for the song were then added by Johnny Burke a few years later and the song recorded by Johhny Mathis.

The song received  further popularity when Clint Eastwood obtained the rights to use it for his 1971 film Play Misty For Me. In the movie Clint Eastwood plays a late night DJ, Dave Garver. A woman, Evelyn (Jessica Walter) is a regular listener who asks Dave to 'Play Misty For Me'. She develops a fatal attraction for the DJ. Here is the trailer. The tagline on the movie poster was "The scream you hear may be your own"!

You can listen to Errol Garner playing Misty in a video here, but for our two takes we have two different interpretaions of the song. The first is an instrumental version from the Oscar Peterson Trio with trumpeter Clark Terry in 1965.

Our second 'Take' introduces the lyrics sung by Stella Cole in 2021 with Tom Kaufmann at the piano and Laurie Sears on the sax. Based in New York City, Stella has apparently not yet made any commercial CD recordings, but you can try other songs of  her singing here, on Spotify here, and her Facebook page is here.

I like the story that appears on a number of YouTube channels about how once, Errol Garner had a gig at Carnegie Hall in New York City. When he arrived, the show's promoter greeted him, and noticed he wasn't carrying anything to the show. He asked Errol "Where's your sheet music?" Errol replied, "I don't use sheet music." The promoter then asked, "How do you manage to play without reading?" Errol responded, "Will people come to hear me play, or to see me read?"

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