“Fly Me Too The Moon”
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Fly Me to the Moon, originally titled “In Other Words”, is a song written in 1954 by Bart Howard. Kaye Ballard made the first recording of the song the year it was written. Frank Sinatra‘s 1964 version was closely associated with the Apollo missions to the Moon.
In 1999, the Songwriters Hall of Fame honored “Fly Me to the Moon” by inducting it as a “Towering Song”.
Frank Sinatra’s 1964 recording of Fly Me to the Moon became closely associated with NASA‘s Apollo space program. A copy of the song was played on the Apollo 10 mission which orbited the Moon. It became the first music heard on the Moon when played on a portable cassette player by Apollo 11astronaut Buzz Aldrin after he stepped onto the Moon. The song’s association with Apollo 11 was reprised many years later when Diana Krall sang it at the mission’s 40th anniversary commemoration ceremony. She also sang a “slow and solemn version” in 2012 at the national memorial service for Apollo 11 mission commander Neil Armstrong.
Frank Sinatra included the song on his 1964 album It Might as Well Be Swing, accompanied by Count Basie. The music for this album was arranged by Quincy Jones, who had worked with Count Basie a year earlier on the album This Time by Basie, which also included a version of Fly Me to the Moon. Will Friedwald commented that “Jones boosted the tempo and put it into an even four/four” for Basie’s version, but “when Sinatra decided to address it with the Basie/Jones combination they recharged it into a straight swinger… [which]…all but explodes with energy”.
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