Sunday, September 19, 2010

The 20 Greatest American Standards Ever Written

 It's hard for me to believe that it's been a year since I first published my list of "The 20 Greatest American Standards Ever Written" on this blog.  My last posting of this list was on November 8, 2009.  It's time to take another look at this list to see what changes need to be made, if any.  For new readers to this blog, in order to qualify for the list, the song must be over 50 years old.  In addition to the list of songs, I have listed my favorite personal recording of these songs as a good starting reference for anyone who wants to hear what I feel is the definitive recording of all these wonderful ageless songs. Also I am ranking the 20 songs from one to twenty with one being the best of the best.  Of course, picking 20 songs out of thousands is not easy and I know every reader will have their own favorites and their own ranking and I encourage any and all comments from all of my readers.
A few comments about the changes in the list. We have a new top number one song, "You've Changed" as sung by the late Eva Cassidy.  So sad for all of us that we lost Eva at such a young age.  There are lots of recordings of this great song, but I keep coming back to her version.  How good was she to push Sinatra's version off the list?  Yes, her recording is that good!  Speaking of Sinatra, he is listed as the "Best of the Best" on five songs and it was a coin toss with many more.  Only confirms the fact that Frank Sinatra was and still is the "Chairman" of the "Great American Songbook".  I took two great songs off the list, "Body and Soul" and sadly my long time personal favorite, "Misty".  I needed to make room for "My One And Only Love" and "These Foolish Things". Lastly, "Where or When" came close to breaking into the lineup.

1. You've Changed: Eve Cassidy
2. What's New: Frank Sinatra
3. The Nearness of You: Norah Jones
4. Here's That Rainy Day: Kenny Rankin
5. Embraceable You: Lena Horne & Frank Sinatra Duet
6. The Very Thought of You: Tony Bennett & Paul McCartney Duet
7. My Funny Valentine: Carly Simon
8. I've Got You Under My Skin: Frank Sinatra
9. Over The Rainbow: Ray Charles & Johnny Mathis Duet
10. Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered: Ella Fitzgerald
11. In The Still Of The Night: Frank Sinatra
12. Night And Day: Frank Sinatra
13. Someone To Watch Over Me: Nancy Wilson
14. At Last: Etta James
15. All My Tomorrows: Frank Sinatra
16. The Way You Look Tonight: Tony Bennett
17. They Can't Take That Away From Me: Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong Duet
18. All The Things You Are To Me: Carly Simon
19. My One And Only Love: Nancy Wilson
20. These Foolish Things: Dinah Washington


  1. Great list. A few new discoveries for me. Thanks very much.

  2. Thanks! There are so many great songs that picking just 20 is really difficult. I will be revisiting this list shortly to see what changes, if any, should be made. Thanks for the comment and hope you continue to check in with me from time to time.


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