August 21st – Rosemary Clooney – Come Rain Or Come Shine

If this arrangement of Come Rain Or Come Shine sounds familiar that’s because it is.  During the 50s Rosemary Clooney and Nelson Riddle enjoyed a romance which had to remain clandestine since Riddle, a devout catholic, refused to divorce is wife.  Their professional relationship was also, for a while at least, kept under wraps since he was signed to Capitol and she to Columbia.  However, he made number of uncredited arrangements for her including this 1956 single. Later they would ‘legitimise’ their public collaboration with two of her best albums Rosie Solves The Swingin’ Riddle and Love.

Pressed for time, Riddle recycled the arrangement for Garland’s Judy album.  He made some refinements but the ending in particular is startlingly similar.  Unaware of this, Garland subsequently accused Clooney of stealing her arrangement.  “I gave Nelson for it” said Rosie in her autobiography.

Rosemary Clooney enjoyed huge success in the 50s – both with Mitch Miller produced novelty singles and a string of classy albums of standards including a collaboration with Ellington, Blue Rose, with orchestrations by Billy Strayhorn.  Pills and alcohol led to a breakdown but she made a comeback in the late 60s and a string of terrific albums on Concord from 1977 to her death in 2002.