1963 Joe Harnell & His Orchestra – Fly Me To The Moon Bossa Nova
In the late fifties, samba music began to change to a new format with the new sound focused in Rio de Janeiro. They eventually applied the name Bossa Nova to this new style of music, the term roughly translating as “new wave.” In 1962, Antônio Carlos Jobim composed the music and Vinícius de Moraes wrote the lyrics for Garota de Ipanema, which became The Girl From Ipanema in 1964.
English-speaking music fans were introduced to the Bossa Nova earlier by two top ten singles that charted in 1963. Eydie Gormé released Blame It On The Bossa Nova in January and the single peaked at #7 on the Hot 100 in March.
Elvis recorded Bossa Nova Baby in January as part of the soundtrack for the film Fun In Acapulco. They released the song as a single when the movie was finally finished, and the record reached #8 on the Hot 100 in November.
Joe Harnell played piano as a member of Glenn Miller’s Air Force Band during World War II. After the war, he began working as a studio musician. He became Peggy Lee’s arranger and accompanist in the late fifties. When he was injured in a car accident in 1962, his record company noticed asked him to work on some Bossa Nova music since the sound had become more popular in Latin countries.
He took the popular song Fly Me To The Moon and arranged Fly Me To The Moon Bossa Nova. The result was recorded by his orchestra and released as a single that reached #14 on the Hot 100 and #4 on the Adult Contemporary chart in 1963.
He followed that success with a remake of the 1928 hit Diane, but it only reached #93 on the Hot 100.
Joe worked as the piano player on The Dinah Shore Chevy Show and later made a living writing jingles. Beginning in 1967, he became the music director for The Mike Douglas Show.
Joe moved to Hollywood in 1973 and began composing music for television and movies. He died from heart failure in 2005.
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