Bart Howard (born Howard Joseph Gustafson, June 1, 1915 – February 21, 2004) was an American composer and songwriter, most notably of the jazz standard "Fly Me to the Moon", which has been performed by Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald, Nancy Wilson, Della Reese, Bobby Womack, Diana Krall, June Christy, Brenda Lee, Astrud Gilberto, and Nat King Cole, among others. It is played frequently by jazz and popular musicians around the world. Mr. Howard wrote the song for his partner of 58 years, Bud Fowler.
"Fly Me to the Moon" was first sung in 1954 by Felicia Sanders at the "Blue Angel" club in Manhattan, where the composer became M.C. and accompanist in 1951. The song received wide exposure when Peggy Lee sang it on The Ed Sullivan Show several years later. Bart Howard "lived off" this song for the rest of his life, although he had 49 other songs to his credit. These include "Let Me Love You", "On the First Warm Day", "One Love Affair", "Be My All", "The Man in the Looking Glass", "My Love Is a Wanderer", "Who Wants to Fall in Love", "Don't Dream of Anybody But Me".
The original title was "In Other Words", but so many people referred to it by the first lyric line, (fly me to the moon) the publisher changed the title to "Fly Me to the Moon".
- Todd S. Jenkins (2004), Free Jazz and Free Improvisation: An Encyclopedia, Greenwood Press
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