My choice this month for Scott Parker’s Forgotten Music series is a film song that I fell in love with in my teens. It’s written by the brilliant French composer Michel Legrand, with lyrics by the accomplished duo Marilyn and Alan Bergman (whose more famous songs include ‘The Windmills of Your Mind’ and ‘You Don’t Bring Me Flowers’.)
This song was written for a movie called La Piscine, about which unfortunately I know nothing. The vocals were done by Sally Stevens, and although Barbra Streisand performed a version of this song, I think Sally’s version stands up extremely well in comparison.
I’ve known the name of Sally Stevens for many years, since she featured on a couple of excellent, if regrettably obscure, albums that Burt Bacharach turned out in the 70s, Futures and Woman. She co-wrote a song on the latter album, ‘There is Time’, and was a featured singer in a concert with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra that I first saw almost 35 years ago. In that concert, she performed a song called ‘Charlie’ which has a quite superb melody – although a schmaltzy lyric. The only recorded version of it that I know is by Bobby Vinton, but that’s another song that should not be forgotten.
In recent times, thanks to the wonders of online social networking, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Sally Stevens slightly, and have discovered that she has been working on new songs, and a possible new album. It will be worth listening to, of that I am sure, on the evidence of a couple of tracks that I’ve heard and much enjoyed. Sally tells me that she spent about ten years singing in concerts and on records fort Bacharach; there are few more driven perfectionists in the music business than him, and he certainly knows a fine singer when he hears one. Sally has been a terrific singer for a good many years, and I much look forward to listening to more of her work. In the meantime, Ask Yourself Why sees her in excellent form.