Thursday, March 15, 2007

MBP of the Week: New York Times

Not a photographic misidentification this week, but a textual one. And my favorite kind, too: musical.

In the New York Times “Food Calendar” feature yesterday, Florence Fabricant wrote:

“Satchmo sang that ‘a kiss is still a kiss.’ But on the cocktail circuit, a kir is not just a kir.”

Sorry, Florence. Wrong black man.

The song to which she refers is, of course, “As Time Goes By.” And Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong never sang it.

Well, maybe in the shower he did. But he certainly never recorded it. A search of the allmusic.com database confirms this.

The song was sung most famously in the movie “Casablanca” by Dooley Wilson. I don’t get why people so often misattribute it to Armstrong.

The New York Times is scrupulous about correcting its errors. I notified the paper about this one. Let’s see if it gets fixed.

4 comments:

floretbroccoli said...

Absolutely right. And yet, in my head, I can hear the song in Armstrong's voice. I don't think Wilson's voice is similar to Armstrong's. I wonder if the song bears some ineffable resemblance to a song that I associate with Satchmo.

Undercover Black Man said...

Floret: Funny how that works. I've got no trace in my head of Armstrong singing that song, which is why I investigated further. I figured if Satch had recorded it, it would be a well-known version, and therefore I would know it.

The song sorta resembles "Just a Gigolo," and Armstrong did record that.

He maybe should have recorded "As Time Goes By." If it suited Jimmy Durante's voice, it would've suited Armstrong's just fine.

Ortho said...

MBP is a great series. I shall keep my eyes open for more.

Undercover Black Man said...

Thanks, Ortho. With everyone's help, we can eradicate MBP in our lifetime.

Tips welcome here: undercoverblackman@mac.com