A 1933 song written by Harold Alen with lyrics by Ted Koehler, “Stormy Weather” was first performed at Harlem’s Cotton Club by Ethel Waters. This recording was later inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2003, and the Library of Congress honored the song by adding it to the National Recording Registry in 2004.
In 1933, this composition was also recorded by Frances Langford as Elisabeth Welch belted it out in London.
The song uses the metaphor of stormy weather to convey a woman’s deep longing for her man to return and her deep sadness of being without him,”stormy weather since my man and I ain’t together, keeps raining all the time.”
This tune has been performed by a wide variety of artist, including Frank Sinatra, Reigning Sound, Clodagh Rodgers and most famously by Lena Horn and Billie Holiday. Horne’s version finished at #30 on AFI’s 100 Years…100 Songs survey of top tunes in American cinema.
“Stormy Weather” was also featured in the 1943 movie of the same name.
Tune in to First Take with Chavis and Lando for Stories of Standards to hear our favorite versions of this song all week long!
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