It was 1933. Composer Harold Arlen and lyricist Ted Koehler
had been writing together as a
team for the Cotton Club in Harlem, New York for three years. The creative
duo were at a party
one evening fiddling around with a tune. Within a mere 30 minutes, they
had completed a
Arlen & Koehler created the song for Cotton Club regular
Cab Calloway opening the song with
what Harold called a "front shout." But Calloway did not sign
to appear in the 22nd edition of the Cotton Club Parade in '33. Therefore,
the song was turned over to a different performer, singer
Ethel Waters. That same year, prior to Ms. Waters performance, the Leo
Reisman Orchestra made
a recording of Stormy Weather. It became so popular by opening
night of the 1933 Cotton
Club Parade, crowds of New York elites gathered just to hear Ethel Waters
sing the new hit song.
Arlen, Harold's son, pays homage to his father's composition with
his rendition of Stormy Weather on his new CD, "Arlen Plays
HERE to listen to a clip of
Please note: The song sample is in a streaming
format requiring Quicktime in order to be heard.
If you do not have Quicktime, click here
download the FREE Player from apple's website.