"You Brought a New Kind of Love to Me"
Sammy Fain (music)
This week’s song, “You brought a New Kind of Love to Me,” is a light jazz tune, composed by Sammy Fain in 1930; the song was premiered by Maurice Chevalier in a film called, The Big Pond. Later in 1930, Chevalier recorded it in both English and in French, popularizing Fain’s tune on both sides of the Atlantic.
Like many of the Tin Pan Alley composers, Fain was a a cantor’s son; he was a self-taught pianist who played entirely by ear and went from modest beginnings as a “song pitcher” for the (Jack) Mills Publishing Company to being a two-time winner of the Academy Award for Best Original Song. During his career, Sammy Fain wrote music for over 50 films, and about 20 Broadway plays. This week’s song “only” made it to number 38 on the charts in 1930 (likely due to its having been released in twelve different version that year alone), but it has been immensely popular for nearly a century, and (so far) has been commercially recorded 163 times, most recently in 2021. Sammy Fain’s music is all over The American Songbook and has earned him a place in the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in recognition of his six decades in the music industry.
So how is one to choose from among so many recordings? When in doubt, I look for the voice first and then for the arrangement. For sheer vocal purity, I’d give the nod to Ella Fitzgerald, with an honorable mention to Peggy Lee, who recorded the song with Benny Goodman when she sang with his orchestra. But Irving Kahal’s lyrics, to me, seem best suited to a male singer; listen and see if you don’t agree with me on that. So for overall excellence in a production, I give you Frank Sinatra’s third recording of “You Brought a New Kind of Love to Me,” which he made for Reprise Records in 1963 (release date,1965). Nelson Riddle’s orchestration can’t be beat, either, and the combination is simply superb.
You Brought a New Kind of Love to Me (Lyrics by Irving Kahal) If the nightingales could sing like you They'd sing much sweeter than they do, For you brought a new kind of love to me. And if the sandman brought me dreams of you I'd want to sleep my whole life through, For you brought a new love to me. I know that I'm the slave, you're the queen. Still you can understand That underneath it all, you're a maid, And I am only a man. I would work and slave the whole day through If I could hurry home to you, For you brought a new kind of love to me. I know that I'm the slave, you're the queen. Still you can understand That underneath it all, you're a maid, And I am only a man. I would work and slave my whole life through If I could hurry home to you, For you brought a new kind of love to me.
If you would like to hear a brilliant swing version of “New Kind of Love,” give a listen to what Benny Goodman did with Sammy Fain’s tune as an instrumental. And think of what an amazing collaboration of talents brought about the flowering of popular music in the first half of the 20th century. And what a treasure that music is to us all!