|Trivia||"At Last" by Etta James. The song reached number 9 on the Billboard pop charts in 1942, staying on the charts for nine weeks. The same-named album "At Last!" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999. It was also ranked at #119 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time in 2012. In addition, the song is popular at wedding and famously sung by Beyonce to Obama upong his inauguration as president. Jen Chaney of The Washington Post wrote:
"...she sang it, tearfully, another high-profile time. On that night, the song’s expression of a romantic promise fulfilled clearly spoke to the hope that political promises would be fulfilled, not to mention the notion that, at last, an African-American had assumed this nation's highest honor."
Since its release, "At Last" has been covered by many artists, including Celine Dion, Beyonce, Jason Mraz, Christina Aguilera, Cyndi Lauper, Lou Rawls & Diane Reeves. Celine Dion's version peaked at number 16 on the Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks. It is featured on Dion's sixth English-language album A New Day Has Come (2002).
|Opera||Porgy and Bess
|Trivia||"Summertime" was composed by American composer and pianist George Gershwin for the folk opera "Porge and Bess" in 1934. During the opening act Clara, portrayed by singer/actress Abbie Mitchell, sang “Summertime” as a lullaby to her baby. Despite the initial commercial failure, "Porge and Bess" is now considered one of the most important American operas of the twentieth century.The opera contains some of George Gershwin's imporatnt work, including "Summertime", "I Got Plenty o' Nuttin" and " It Ain't Neccesary So".
The song "Summertime" soon became popular. It's said to be ultimate jazz standard. "Summertime" has been covered frequently, including Leontyne Price (1960), Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong (1957), Miles Davis (1959), Billy Steward (1966), Janis Joplin (1969), and Harolyn Blackwell (1986). The most commercially successful version was by Billy Stewart, who reached no. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, and no. 7 on the R&B chart in 1966.
|Title||Hit the Road Jack
|Trivia||"Hit the Road Jack" was writte by American rhythm and blues singer Percy Mayfield. It was recorded by singer-songwriter Ray Charles with The Raelettes vocalist Margie Hendricks. in 1961, Mayfield came to attention of Ray Charles with this song. Charles later signed Mayfield to his Tangerine Records label, primarily as a songwriter.
The song amazingly combined elements of rock, soul, pop, jazz, and gospel. The song hit number one for two weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, beginning on Monday, October 9, 1961. As well, it won Grammy Award for Best Rhythm and Blues Recording. It's listed as one of the "500 Greatest Songs of all time" by Rolling Stone magazine.