It Was a Very Good Year

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

"It Was a Very Good Year" is a song Ervin Drake composed in 1961 for and originally recorded by Bob Shane with The Kingston Trio.[1][2] It was subsequently made famous by Frank Sinatra's version in D minor,[3] which won the Grammy Award for Best Vocal Performance, Male in 1966. Gordon Jenkins was awarded Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s) for the Sinatra version. This single peaked at #28 on the U.S. pop chart and became Sinatra's first #1 single on the Easy Listening charts.[4] That version can be found on Sinatra's 1965 album September of My Years, and was featured in The Sopranos season two opener, "Guy Walks into a Psychiatrist's Office...". A live, stripped-down performance is included on his Sinatra at the Sands album.


The song recounts the type of girls the singer had relationships with at various years in his life: when he was 17, "small-town girls on the village green"; at 21, "city girls who lived up the stairs"; at 35, "blue-blooded girls of independent means". Each of these years he calls "very good". In the song's final verse, the singer reflects that he is older, and he thinks back on his entire life "as vintage wine". All of these romances were sweet to him, like a wine from a very good (i.e., vintage) year.


Ervin Drake's inspiration to write the song was his future wife-to-be, Edith Vincent Bermaine. She was a showgirl, whom he dated and 30 years later married.[citation needed]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Rubeck, Shaw, Blake et al., The Kingston Trio On Record (Naperville IL: KK Inc, 1986), p. 46
  2. ^ a b Friedwald, Will (2009-04-02). "When He Was 46 it Was a Very Good Year - WSJ". Retrieved 2014-06-20. 
  3. ^ Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 22 - Smack Dab in the Middle on Route 66: A skinny dip in the easy listening mainstream. [Part 1]" (audio). Pop Chronicles. 
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1996). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 6th Edition (Billboard Publications)
  5. ^ Peppiat, Wheaton et. el. Sinatra: A Man and his Music. Warner Bros. DVD, prod. Hemion, Raskin,1999
  6. ^ "Chad Stuart & Jeremy Clyde". 2006. Retrieved 2014-06-20. 

External links[edit]