The ten most popular jazz tunes for weddings
We were wondering which jazz numbers were most popular at weddings. Since we’re a jazz agency we decided to ask our musicians which ones they get asked for the most. Without further ado, here are the top 10 requested jazz standards at weddings:
In at number ten is ‘I Can’t Give You Anything but Love’ by Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields. This 1928 ditty was the title tune to the film of the same name. Perfect for conjuring up a 1920s atmosphere. Here’s Jonny Hepbir’s quartet version.
‘All of Me’ by Gerald Marks and Seymour Simons was one of the most popular songs of the swing era, with countless versions recorded in the 1930s. Sara Oschlag’s duo play a particularly toe-tapping version.
Despite being sung in Spanish, our cosmopolitan clientele opted for ‘Bésame Mucho’ at number eight. Written in Mexico in 1940, it’s the most recorded Mexican song in history. Jonny Hepbir’s group recorded it with Sara Oschlag’s flawless Spanish vocals.
‘It Had to be You’ by Isham Jones and Gus Kahn is another speakeasy classic. Written in 1924, it was performed extensively and even had a film named after it in 1947. It was also the theme tune to ‘When Harry Met Sally’ in 1989. Here’s Sara Oschlag’s trio version.
‘I’m in the Mood for Love’ is another successful tune from hit makers Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields. Written in 1935 for the film ‘Every Night at Eight’, it has surged in popularity again recently due to Amy Winehouse recording a vocalese version in 2003.
‘Let’s Do It, Let’s Fall in Love’ was written in 1928 by Cole Porter for his first Broadway success, ‘Paris’. It has since been recorded by Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra and has notable parodies by Joan Jett, The White Stripes and Sesame Street. Part of its popularity is the risqué nature of the lyric, and it clearly influenced this famous song by Victoria Wood.
‘L-O-V-E’ was recorded in 1965 by Nat King Cole for his album of the same name. Composed by Bert Kaempfert with lyrics by Milt Gabler, it became one of Nat’s most enduring performances. It became popular again in 2007 when Joss Stone recorded a Motown-style version. Here’s Jonny Hepbir again, with Sara Oschlag on vocals.
‘Let There Be Love’ by Lionel Rand, with lyrics by Ian Grant, was written in 1940 and recorded many times. Nat King Cole’s version in 1961 propelled it into popular consciousness, where it has remained ever since. Here’s the Sara Oschlag quartet version.
‘At Last’ by Mack Gordon and Harry Warren was recorded by many artists before Etta James got hold of it in 1960. Her version ended up in the Grammy Hall of Fame. Both Celine Dion and Beyoncé recorded successful versions, and it’s a very popular number for the first dance. Here’s Rockin’ in Rhythm’s version.
This was always going to be in the top spot – ‘Fly me to the Moon’, written in 1954 by Bart Howard, was actually played on the moon on Buzz Aldrin’s portable cassette player. Of course it was Frank Sinatra’s 1964 version that really sent this song into the stratosphere, literally and metaphorically. It was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, where it is recognised as a “Towering Song”, which is awarded to songs that have influenced culture. It works during the ceremony, as a first dance, and as a processional to see off the bride and groom into their new life. Here’s the Sara Oschlag quartet version.