You don’t have to be deeply philosophical to feel that the universe is stranger than any surrealism our minds can invent; you have only to be browsing eBay with slightly heightened attentiveness. Witness this combination of objects.
One is the sheet music for Mildred Bailey’s theme song — a cover I’d never seen before:
I find Mildred an entrancing singer, and am always saddened that she didn’t live longer. Here’s her first recording of ROCKIN’ CHAIR — with a small group under Paul Whiteman’s name, on which Red Norvo is happily audible:
And the more famous 1937 recording, bittersweet and understated, with an introduction by Stew Pletcher and an Eddie Sauter arrangement:
A slower 1941 version with the Delta Rhythm Boys:
A duet with Teddy Wilson from November 1943 for V-Disc:
Her concert performance — from the Esquire All-American Jazz concert of January 1944, with accompaniment by Teddy Wilson, Red Norvo, Jack Teagarden:
Finally, a 1948 broadcast, new to me — even more stately:
I would gently urge those listeners and musicians who have taken little notice of Mildred to listen carefully to her subtle, often melancholy variations on a theme she must have sung a thousand times.
She has much to tell us about quietly and honestly expressing deep feeling.
May your happiness increase!