Casablanca & Broadway’s “Everybody’s Welcome” Debut
Anyone who’s seen the classic movie “Casablanca” will know the phrase “play it again Sam”.
The song that Humphrey Bogart was asking to hear again was “As Time Goes By”.
I’ve been playing it for a long time but I’ve made a new arrangement and in a new key.
Originally written in the key of E Flat Major with 3 flats but now I’ve arranged it in the key of A Major with 3 sharps which is more guitar friendly.
Written by Herman Hupfeld it first appeared in the Broadway musical “Everybody’s Welcome” from 1931.
It wasn’t actually written for this musical but would go on to outlive it.
In fact most of “Everybody’s Welcome” is not only forgotten but lost.
The music for “Everybody’s Welcome” was written by Sammy Fain but it seems that they needed another song to finish the musical so Hupfeld was asked if he could come up with a song they could use so he offered them “As Time Goes By”.
I imagine that there was a deadline that the show needed to be finished by so Hupfeld was engaged and the song “As Time Goes By” was set on a course and journey to become one of the great songs of all time.
A Kiss Is But A Kiss…Herman Hupfeld
Herman Hupfeld was born in 1894 in Montclair New Jersey.
His parents were both musical,in fact his mother was a church organist, so being ambitious for young Herman’s musical education and development they packed him off to Germany at the age of 9 to study violin… so we can say that he was a well trained musician.
After “Everybody’s Welcome” finished its run “As Time Goes By” being the standout song became a minor hit and that would have been the last of it but for one thing.
“As Time Goes By” had a second life when in 1943 it was used as the feature song in the Hollywood hit movie “Casablanca”.
The film was a huge success and was actually nominated for 8 Academy Awards of which it won 3 including “best movie”.
It established the Swedish actress Ingmar Bergman as a star in the English speaking world and of course turned “As Time Goes By” into a standard and one of the more notable tunes from the great American Songbook.
The list of recording stars that have performed and recorded “As Time Goes By” is long and would run into the hundreds.
Names like Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday, Barbra Streisand, even Barry White and there have been duets like Rod Stewart with Queen Latifah.
Bill Evans, the great Jazz pianist, did a really interesting instrumental version.
Evans was very unique with a subtle and sophisticated approach to his playing.
After a stint with Miles Davis where he played on the biggest selling Jazz album of all time “Kind Of Blue” by Davis, Bill Evans was established and would go on to record prolifically.
Kind Of Blue took improvised music in a new direction.
It explored modal playing with some of the greatest musicians like Cannonball Adderley, John Coltrane and Miles Davis himself.
When Evans left Miles Davis’s band he concentrated on his own group.
He composed some tunes but mostly played standard tunes like “As Time Goes By”.
I recently heard Randy Newmans version of “You Can Leave Your Hat On” for the first time.
I didn’t actually know that he’d written the song but to compare Joe Cocker’s well known version to Newman’s original is like night and day, the contrast is huge.
That’s how a good song works, there’s plenty of room and scope to explore ideas through the song.
I’ve tried to keep my arrangement as simple as possible so that guitarists that are still developing their playing can enjoy learning a classic song.
If you’d like the tablature for my arrangement of “As Time Goes By” let me know.