Monday, March 21, 2005

Bobby Short

Last month I was paying praise to the opening minutes of Woody Allen's Manhattan. Fast forward from 1979 to 1993, and Woody Allen again makes an impression on me with the movie Manhattan Murder Mystery.

Manhattan Murder Mystery's opening sequence features a New York in the evening, overhead shots capturing the brightness and vibrancy of the city below. We pan past familiar landmarks, guided by a distinctive voice performing "I Happen to Like New York" (a Cole Porter song). The shot ends with the viewer circling Madison Square Garden on a game night.

When I saw the movie with my wife many years ago, I was swept up by this song. The proud lyrics ("I like the city air, I like to drink of it") mesmerized me. It was everything I felt about New York City. I made a mental note to watch the credits. The name of the singer was easy to remember: Bobby Short.

I watched the movie a few other times, each time savoring the opening sequence. The performance isn't on a CD that I could find. I've since heard other performances of this song, but Mr. Short's is the one that I remember.

Bobby Short passed away today in New York. He was 80.

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