One of the greatest American songs performed by one of America's greatest singers,"Someone to Watch Over Me," written in 1926 by George and Ira Gershwin was recorded by Ella Fitzgerald for her 1959 Verve album Ella Fitzgerald Sings the George and Ira Gershwin Songbook , arranged and conducted by Nelson Riddle.
Ella Fitzgerald Sings the George and Ira Gershwin Songbook is a 1959 (see 1959 in music) five album set by the American jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald, focusing on the songs of George and Ira Gershwin. It was recorded with the Nelson Riddle Orchestra, marking the first time that Fitzgerald and Riddle had worked together. This album is the largest single recording project that Fitzgerald worked on, and it is considered[by whom?] to be one of the most ambitious achievements in Western popular music.
The album cover is an original portrait of Fitzgerald by the French artist Bernard Buffet, starting a tradition of using contemporary artists for Fitzgerald's albums, the artwork of Henri Matisse gracing the cover of her Harold Arlen Songbook (1961).
Riddle arranged 59 Gershwin compositions for the album, including the two orchestral suites which open the album. Though Fitzgerald was 20 years old at the time George Gershwin died in 1937, Ira Gershwin was still alive to see this project completed, and helped contribute lyrics and support to some songs on the album which had never been recorded before. It was this project that led Ira Gershwin to say that he had "never known how good our songs were until I heard Ella sing them".
Ella Fitzgerald was 41 when she recorded this album, and at the peak of her vocal powers, demonstrated in the earlier Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Duke Ellington Song Book, and her two greatest live albums from this period, Ella in Berlin (1960) and Ella in Rome (1958). Like the other songbooks devoted to the Broadway composers, Fitzgerald gets only a single outlet for her notable scat singing, on "I Got Rhythm".
Fitzgerald's recording of "But Not for Me" won her the 1960 Grammy Award for Best Vocal Performance, Female.
It is listed as one of the 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.
"Someone to Watch Over Me" is a song composed by George Gershwin with lyrics by Ira Gershwin from the musical Oh, Kay! (1926), where it was introduced by Gertrude Lawrence. Gershwin originally approached the song as an uptempo jazz tune, but his brother Ira suggested that it might work much better as a ballad, and George ultimately agreed. It has been performed by numerous artists since its debut and is a jazz standard as well as a key work in the Great American Songbook.
Ella Fitzgerald (born April 25, 1917, Newport News, Va., U.S.died June 15, 1996, Beverly Hills, Calif.) U.S. singer. She won an amateur contest at Harlem's Apollo Theatre in 1934 and became the star of drummer Chick Webb's big band the following year. Her association with manager and impresario Norman Granz in the late 1940s led to performances with Jazz at the Philharmonic and a famous series of Songbook recordings, each featuring the work of a single popular-song composer. Fitzgerald was one of the greatest scat singers in jazz; her clear, girlish voice and virtuosity made her one of the best-selling vocal recording artists in history.