Stormy Weather (song)
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"Stormy Weather" is a 1933 song written by Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler. Ethel Waters first sang it at The Cotton Club night club in Harlem in 1933 and recorded it that year, and in the same year it was sung in London by Elisabeth Welch and recorded by Frances Langford. Also 1933, for the first time in history the entire floor revue from Harlem's Cotton Club went on tour, playing theatres in principal cities. The revue was originally called The Cotton Club Parade of 1933 but for the road tour it was changed to the Stormy Weather Revue and as the name implies, the show contained the hit song "Stormy Weather" which was sung by Adelaide Hall.
The song has since been performed by artists as diverse as Frank Sinatra, Etta James, Dinah Washington, Clodagh Rodgers, and Reigning Sound and most famously by Lena Horne and Billie Holiday. Leo Reisman's orchestra version had the biggest hit on records (with Arlen himself as vocalist), although Ethel Waters's recorded version also sold well. "Stormy Weather" was featured in the 1943 movie of the same name.
The song tells of disappointment, as the lyrics, "Don't know why there's no sun up in the sky", show someone pining for her man to return. The weather is a metaphor for the feelings of the singer: "stormy weather since my man and I ain't together, keeps raining all the time."
The original handwritten lyrics, along with a painting by Ted Koehler, were featured on the (US) Antiques Roadshow on 24 January 2011, where they were appraised for between $50,000 and $100,000. The lyrics show a number of crossings out and corrections.
Ethel Waters's recording of the song in 1933 was inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2003, and the Library of Congress honored the song by adding it to the National Recording Registry in 2004. Also in 2004, Horne's version finished at #30 on AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs survey of top tunes in American cinema.
Fats Comet cover
|Single by Fats Comet|
|Recorded||Southern Studios, London, England|
|Writer(s)||Harold Arlen, Ted Koehler|
|Producer(s)||Fats Comet, Adrian Sherwood|
|Fats Comet singles chronology|
Formats and track listing
- UK 12" single (WR 002)
- "Stormy Weather" – 6:27
- "Dub Storm" – 7:35
|The Face||United Kingdom||Singles of the Year||1985||17|
- Keith LeBlanc – drums, percussion
- Skip McDonald – guitar
- Adrian Sherwood – sampler, programming, producer
- Doug Wimbish – bass guitar
- Technical personnel
- The Comedian Harmonists recorded a German version called Ohne Dich in 1933.
- Duke Ellington recorded an instrumental version of the song in 1933 and another version with singer Ivie Anderson in 1940. He also featured a vocal version with Ivy (aka Ivie) Anderson in his 1933 Paramount short film Bundle of Blues.
- Ethel Waters 1933
- The Golden Gate Quartet recorded the song for Bluebird Records in 1939.
- Lena Horne first (though she was not the first artist to record it) recorded the song in 1941 for RCA Victor. In 1943, she recorded another version of "Stormy Weather" for the movie of the same name (which she made while on loan to 20th Century-Fox from MGM). Horne recorded the song at least five times throughout her career. Horne's version of the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2000.
- Judy Garland recorded a studio version of the song for her "London Sessions" with Capitol. Most notable is her live performance of the song recorded for the Grammy Award-winning album Judy at Carnegie Hall.
- Billy Eckstine, studio album "Once More with Feeling" (1960). It was arranged by Billy May
- Charles Mingus recorded the song on the Mingus! album for Candid Records (1960)
- Etta James, on her 1960 album for Chess Records, 'At Last!'
- Ringo Starr recorded the song in 1969 for his solo debut album, but it was not included on the finished album.
- Viola Wills covered the song in 1982, it peaked at number four on the dance charts.
- Jeff Lynne recorded a version of the song for his 1990 solo album, Armchair Theatre.
- Carmel recorded a version for her 1984 album, The Drum is Everything.
- "Adelaide Hall with Cotton Club revue", article in The Afro-American, 23 September 1933, p. 18.
- ""Stormy Weather" Working Lyrics & Koehler Painting | Antiques Roadshow". PBS. 2010-06-12. Retrieved 2016-07-26.
- Parker, David (2001). "12" single: Fats Comet - 'Stormy Weather'". Skysaw.org. Retrieved October 4, 2014.
- "The Face Recordings of the Year - 1985 Singles". The Face. Retrieved October 4, 2014.
- "Ellington Titles". Depanorama.net. Retrieved 2016-07-26.
- Stratemann, Dr. Klaus (1992). Duke Ellington Day by Day and Film by Film. Copenhagen: JazzMedia ApS. pp. 59–64. ISBN 87-88043-34-7.
- "GRAMMY Hall Of Fame". GRAMMY.org. Retrieved 2016-07-26.
- "Recording: Stormy Weather by Ringo Starr". Beatlesbible.com. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
- Whitburn, Joel (2004). Hot Dance/Disco: 1974–2003. Record Research. p. 281.
- The chapter "Stormy Weather" in the book Stardust Melodies: The Biography of Twelve of America's Most Popular Songs by Will Friedwald (New York: Pantheon Books, 2002).