Sunday, April 19, 2009

You go to my head

Sung by everyone from Dinah Shore to Rod Steward, including Ella, Louis, Judy Garland, and Ole Blue Eyes, J. Fred Coots and Haven Gillespie's (of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" fame)"You Go To My Head" is a charming alkie's serenade to a lover-- "I find the very mention of you like a kick in a julep or two."

I thought I'd take the opportunity to pair Billie Holiday's sultry version of the song with a photo of Holiday by Herman Leonard. Leonard opened his first studio after WWII, and photographed all over the world, including spending time as Marlon Brando's personal photographer while Brando toured the Far East. His studio in New Orleans was damaged during Katrina, and he now works out of Studio City. His collection is on display at the Smithsonian. If you browse his website as well as the Edelman Gallery page, the source of the pictures in this post, you'll probably recognize not just the names (including Pearl Bailey, Sarah Vaughan, Chet Baker) but some of the shots, including a famous one of Ella Fitzgerald on stage being watched by Duke Ellington in the audience. As Quincy Jones said, "When people think of jazz, their mental picture is likely one of Herman's."

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