Tag Archives: Mitzi Green

4Ever Songs: Chet Baker ‘My Funny Valentine’

Between 1919 and 1943, pianist/composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist Lorenz Hart wrote many timeless songs – including the likes of “The Lady Is A Tramp,” “Blue Moon,” and “Have You Met Miss Jones – but “My Funny Valentine” is undoubtedly their crowning glory.

The song was written in 1937 for 17-year-old to sing in Rodgers & Hart’s musical, Babes In Arms; although the stage show enjoyed a successful 289-week run on Broadway, “My Funny Valentine” outlived it, going on to achieve a notable life of its own from the mid-1940s onwards when many pop and jazz singers began including it in their repertoire.

It was in the 1950s, though, that “My Funny Valentine”‘s popularity skyrocketed; there were 38 recordings of it that decade, the most notable, perhaps, by Chet Baker, a sublimely lyrical trumpeter who also sang in a dreamy, androgynous voice. His 1952 recording of the tune – when he was part of baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan’s quartet – transformed him into the poster boy of West Coast cool jazz.