Strangers in the Night

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"Strangers In the Night"
Song by Frank Sinatra from the album Strangers in the Night
Released1966
RecordedApril 11, 1966
GenreTraditional pop
Length2:35 (original album/single version, incorrectly listed as 2:25 in the original back cover)
2:44 (extended version from "Nothing But the Best")
LabelReprise
WriterBert Kaempfert, Charles Singleton, Eddie Snyder
ComposerBert Kaempfert
ProducerJimmy Bowen
Strangers in the Night track listing
"Strangers In the Night"
(1)
"Summer Wind"
(2)
Music sample
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"Strangers In the Night"
Song by Frank Sinatra from the album Strangers in the Night
Released1966
RecordedApril 11, 1966
GenreTraditional pop
Length2:35 (original album/single version, incorrectly listed as 2:25 in the original back cover)
2:44 (extended version from "Nothing But the Best")
LabelReprise
WriterBert Kaempfert, Charles Singleton, Eddie Snyder
ComposerBert Kaempfert
ProducerJimmy Bowen
Strangers in the Night track listing
"Strangers In the Night"
(1)
"Summer Wind"
(2)
Music sample
Sorry, your browser either has JavaScript disabled or does not have any supported player.
You can download the clip or download a player to play the clip in your browser.
"Strangers in the Night"
Single by Connie Francis
A-sideSomewhere, My Love
Released1967
Format7" single
RecordedMay 31, 1966
GenreSchlager music
Length3:01 (A-side)
3:08 (B-side)
LabelMGM Records 61 148
Writer(s)Bert Kaempfert, Charles Singleton, Eddie Snyder
ProducerTom Wilson
Connie Francis
German singles chronology
Es ist so schön, dass es dich gibt /
Das soll nie mehr vorübergeh'n
(1967)
Somewhere, My Love /
Strangers in The Night
(1967)
Goodbye, Mama /
Traumboot
(1967)

"Strangers in the Night" is a popular song composed by Bert Kaempfert with English lyrics by Charles Singleton and Eddie Snyder. Kaempfert originally used it under the title "Beddy Bye" as part of the instrumental score for the movie A Man Could Get Killed. The song was made famous in 1966 by Frank Sinatra.[1]

Reaching number one on both the Billboard Hot 100 chart and the Easy Listening chart,[2] it was the title song for Sinatra's 1966 album Strangers in the Night, which became his most commercially successful album. The song also reached number one on the UK Singles Chart.

Sinatra's recording won him the Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance and the Grammy Award for Record of the Year, as well as a Grammy Award for Best Arrangement Accompanying a Vocalist or Instrumentalist for Ernie Freeman at the Grammy Awards of 1967.

Vocal improvisation[edit]

One of the most memorable and recognizable features of the record is Sinatra's scat improvisation of the melody with the syllables "doo-be-doo-be-doo" as the song fades to the end. Many fans lament the fact that the fade was early and Sinatra's improvisation is cut off too soon.

For the CD Nothing but the Best, the song was remastered and the running time is 2:45 instead of the usual 2:35. The extra ten seconds is just a continuation of Sinatra's scat singing. The track was recorded on April 11, 1966, one month before the rest of the album.

Sinatra despised the song, calling it at one time "a piece of shit" and "the worst fucking song that I have ever heard."[3] He was not afraid to voice his disapproval of playing it live. In spite of his contempt for the song, for the first time in eleven years he had a number one song, and it remained on the charts for fifteen weeks. Italian-American tenor Sergio Franchi (among many others) covered the song on his 1967 RCA Victor album From Sergio - with Love.[4]

Copyright issues[edit]

It is sometimes claimed that the Yugoslavian-Croatian singer Ivo Robić was the original composer of "Strangers in the Night", and that he sold the rights to Kaempfert after entering it without success in a song contest in Yugoslavia. This has not been substantiated. Robić—often referred to as "Mr. Morgen" for his 1950s charts success with Morgen, created in collaboration with Bert Kaempfert—was rather the singer of the Croatian-language version of the song, called "Stranci u Noći".[citation needed]

It was published in 1966 by the Yugoslavian record company Jugoton under the serial number EPY-3779. On the label of the record, B. Kaempfert and M. Renota are stated as authors, wherein Marija Renota is the creator of the Croatian lyrics. The original composition of "Strangers" was under the title "Beddy Bye"—referring to the lead character William Beddoes—as an instrumental for the score of the movie A Man Could Get Killed.[citation needed]

The phrase "Strangers in the Night" was created after the composition, when the New York music publishers Roosevelt Music requested that the lyricists Snyder and Singleton—fresh off of "Spanish Eyes", composed by Kaempfert of "Moon Over Naples" fame—to put some words to the tune. "Stranci u Noći" is a literal translation of this phrase. Avo Uvezian has claimed that he originally composed the song as "Broken Guitar" which was then retitled and published by Kaempfert.[citation needed]

In 1967, French composer Michel Philippe-Gérard (more commonly known as just Philippe-Gérard) established a claim that the melody of "Strangers" was based on his composition "Magic Tango", which was published in 1953 through Chappells in New York.[5] Royalties from the song were thus frozen[6] until a court in Paris ruled in 1971 against plagiarism, stating that many songs were based on similar constant factors.[7]

Cover versions[edit]

"Strangers in the Night" was recorded by many other artists, among them:

in German as "Fremde in der Nacht"
for her 1966 album I Couldn't Live Without Your Love
in Italian as "Sola più che mai"
on his 2005 album Romeo Rodney
a first version in English (recorded April 2, 1966 - nine days prior to Sinatra's recording), which remains unreleased as of July 2012[8]
a second Version in English for her 1966 album "Movie Greats Of The 60s"[9]
in Italian as "Sola più che mai" for her 1967 album Connie Francis canta i suoi best-seller[8]
in Spanish as "No puedo olvidar" for her 1967 album Grandes Exitos del Cine de los Años 60[9]
for their 1967 album Bert Kaempfert Turns Us On[10]
who also recorded the song in 1966 just before Frank Sinatra recorded his version
an electronic version featuring the Moog synthesizer on their album Kaleidoscopic Vibrations: Electronic Pop Music From Way Out
on her album Songs for the New Depression
recorded two versions of this song, one on her 1984 album Catene and another on her 2005 album L'allieva.
in German as "Fremde in der Nacht"
in Croatian as "Stranci u Noći"
in German as "Fremde in der Nacht"
on his album Manilow Sings Sinatra
on their Live! Bootleg album as an instrumental cover

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Eddie Snyder obituary". The Daily Telegraph. 2011-03-31. Retrieved 2011-04-02. 
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1996). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 6th Edition (Billboard Publications)
  3. ^ Summers, Anthony; Swan, Robbyn. Sinatra: The Life. Random House Digital, Inc., New York, 2006, p. 334.
  4. ^ http://www.discogs.com Sergio Franchi
  5. ^ "Court Told Music Hit Plagiarized: French Composer Asks $400,000 For Sinatra Record". Toledo Blade. 7 December 1968. p. 4. 
  6. ^ "Charge Is Holding Up 'Strangers' Royalties". Billboard. 15 April 1967. p. 52. 
  7. ^ "Writer Loses 'Strangers' Case". Billboard. 17 April 1971. p. 50. 
  8. ^ a b Roberts, Ron: Connie Francis Discography 1955 – 1975, revised editions 1979 and 1983
  9. ^ a b Francis, Connie and others: Souvenirs, companion book to 4 CD retrospective "Souvenirs", Polydor (New York) 1995, Kat.-Nr. 314 533 382-2
  10. ^ Bert Kaempfert official home page

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Paperback Writer" by The Beatles
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
July 2, 1966
Succeeded by
"Hanky Panky" by Tommy James and the Shondells
Preceded by
"Band of Gold" by Mel Carter
Billboard Easy Listening Singles number-one single (Frank Sinatra version)
June 4, 1966 (7 weeks)
Succeeded by
"The Impossible Dream (The Quest)" by Jack Jones
Preceded by
"Paint It, Black" by The Rolling Stones
UK number-one single
2 June 1966 – 16 June 1966
Succeeded by
"Paperback Writer" by The Beatles