Johnny Hartman, “They Didn’t Believe Me” (1956)
Today was Jerome Kern’s birthday. This is by far my favorite of his songs, written in 1914 for a forgotten musical and a hit — the first great song of the American Songbook era — on the strength of its well-considered melody and simple, unadorned lyric. Jazz singer Hartman gives it a sensuous post-cool reading here (this whole album, usually listed as Songs from the Heart, is worth marinating in), although my all-time favorite version was recorded by Dinah Shore for the 1946 Kern biopic ‘Til the Clouds Roll By. But I’ve posted that before and written about it here.