here’s a branding question: what signature song comes to mind when you think of nyc? your age may dictate your answer.
above: logo by milton glaser, 1975.
… ( verbiage of tim wilkin, new york sports writer – the howard cosell of horseracing ) “The New York Racing Association has laid a dinosaur egg on this one
The staple song for the Belmont Stakes, Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” has been sacked. Instead of having old Blue Eyes belting out those famous lyrics when the horses come out of the tunnel for the Belmont, we have this:
The song by rapper Jay-Z, “Empire State of Mind.” The song that will be out there will be the version by Alicia Keys, (it will be sung by teen recording artist Jasmine Villegas) which isn’t that bad but it’s not Frank at the Belmont. I will boycott it, turn on my new iPod and listen to Springsteen.
Whoever made this bonehead decision at NYRA should have to sing a duet with selected legislators from the state at next year’s Belmont. This is a stupid idea. Frank, if he were alive, would be appalled, I bet.
“New York, New York” is a staple at the Belmont, has been since 1997 when it replaced “Sidewalks of New York.” If I was a horse, I would turn around and go back into the paddock when this new song is sung.
Maybe next year, this NYRA genius can get a new song for the Kentucky Derby. Sure! Get rid of “My Old Kentucky Home.”
One last thing: this is a dumb idea. Did I say that yet? ” [tim wilkin]
OK, we can breathe a little easier now that this isn’t an official nyc rebranding move. On the other hand, one never knows about these things when they happen. Here are the songs…
below: performed by frank, 1982 ( more info below )
below: alicia keys performs empire state of mind, part II at the p.c. richard & son theater in TriBeCa on november 17, 2009.
below: official jay-z and alicia keys seen september 2, 2009
Frank’s tune is a classic at 33 years. I probably won’t be around but let’s see where things stand in 2043. The city that never sleeps won’t lose sleep over two great songs.
“Theme from New York, New York” (or “New York, New York”) is the theme song from the Martin Scorsese film New York, New York (1977), composed by John Kander, with lyrics by Fred Ebb. It was written for and performed in the film by Liza Minnelli.
In 1980, it was recorded by Frank Sinatra, for his album Trilogy: Past Present Future (1980), and has since become closely associated with him. He occasionally performed it live with Minnelli as a duet. Sinatra recorded it a second time in duet with Tony Bennett for his 1993 album Duets.
It should not be confused with the song “New York, New York”, from Leonard Bernstein/Adolph Green/Betty Comden’s musical On the Town, which features the lyric “New York, New York, is a helluva town / The Bronx is up and the Battery’s down…”
Composers Kander and Ebb stated on the A&E Biography episode about Liza Minnelli that they attribute the song’s success to actor Robert De Niro, who rejected their original theme for the film because he thought it was “too weak.”
The song did not become a popular hit until it was picked up in concert by Frank Sinatra during his performances at Radio City Music Hall in October 1978. Subsequently, Sinatra recorded it in 1979 for his 1980 Trilogy set (Reprise Records), and it became one of his signature songs. The single peaked at #30 in June 1980, becoming one of his final hits on the charts. Sinatra made two more studio recordings of the song in 1981 (for his NBC TV special The Man and His Music) and 1993 (for Capitol Records). From the latter, an electronic duet with Tony Bennett was produced for Sinatra’s Duets album. [lastfm]
“New York State of Mind” is a song written by Billy Joel which initially appeared on the album Turnstiles in 1976. While not a hit when it was first released, it has received much more frequent airplay in recent years. “New York State of Mind” enjoyed a resurgence in popularity and radio airplay after the 2001 September 11 attacks, and is frequently played after New York Mets, New York Knicks and New York Rangers games. It also frequently appears on playlists of adult contemporary and oldies formatted radio stations that broadcast in the New York City market.
In 2009 Jay-Z and Alicia Keys released the song Empire State of Mind, which is also inspired by Frank Sinatras Theme from New York, New York. [wikipedia]