1950s EASY-POP Songs and Singers...on the verge of Rock 'n Roll
Takes Two to Tango recorded by Pearl Bailey with Don Redman’s Orchestra featuring Taft Jordan on trumpet
Written by Al Hoffman and Dick Manning Introduced September 27, 1952, on Coral Records #60817
Pearl Bailey’s uninhibited personality, inimitable style, and mischievous you-can-go-to-pot-on-your-own spirit, sparkle in her recording of Takes Two to Tango. The brassy arrangement—saxophones, trombones, and trumpets—matches the vocal style of Pearl Bailey’s indomitable throaty voice. Her natural laughs, her gravelly “I mean to tell ya” and her “one more time” entreaty come across spectacularly in this one-of-a-kind recording. You just can’t listen without catching her infectious “get the feeling of romance” spirit. Takes Two to Tango was her only recording to place in Billboard’s top 100 but it never made it above 7th place. Movie and stage actress, crowd-pleasing performer, and vocalist, Pearl Bailey, the daughter of a minister, was born in 1918 in Newport News, Virginia. An irrepressible show business personality, she won a singing contest at Harlem’s Apollo Theater in 1938 and was featured with big bands led by Cab Calloway and Cootie Williams. She married jazz drummer Louis Belson. In 1946, she starred in the Broadway musical ‘St. Louis Woman.’ Beginning with ‘Carmen Jones’ in 1954, she appeared in numerous films and stage shows, including Tony award for the title role in ‘Hello Dolly’ in 1970. She hosted her own television variety show in 1970. Pearl Bailey died in 1990.
Quintessential Fifties lyric:
"You can spend a lot, go to pot on your own, there are lots of things that you do alone— but it takes two to tango"