The Cumberland Post

The Cumberland Post
My Backyard, Six Miles from the Cumberland River

Monday, October 10, 2011

Autumn Leaves

Seems we're finally in an autumn state of mind here at the old Post. The nights are much cooler and the morning air has that crisp, fresh bite to it. The hackberries and the locusts are shedding their leaves and the maples and beeches down front are turning gold. The woods in the backyard are turning too, but they're not quite at the stage of my header picture yet.

So, I guess it's time for "Autumn Leaves." It was originally a French song, recorded in 1945 by Yves Montand and some French dame. The English version appeared in 1947 with lyrics by the great Johnny Mercer. Jo Stafford was the first to record it with those lyrics (I'm unsure about the date), and then Roger Williams took his instrumental piano version to number one on the charts in 1955. According to Wiki, this recording has been the only piano instrumental to reach number one. A Joan Crawford film with the title "Autumn Leaves" was released in 1956 and featured Nat King Cole singing the song over the titles.

There are many versions of this song with Johnny Mercer's great lyrics available on youtube, but I like this one,, by Andy Williams. Go ahead, call me square. Truth be told, I probably am.


  1. Go ahead, call me square. Truth be told, I probably am.

    Me too, when it comes to the "standards." This song reminds me of Mom, first and foremost. She had more than a few versions of the tune but the one she played the most was an orchestral version by Michel Legrand. These days I have other associations with "Autumn Leaves" but I always get back to Mom.

    As for Fall... I'm feeling it, too. Our days are much cooler now and we're dropping into the 40s at night. These "in between" days are my favorite in New Mexico, but I certainly miss a true Fall like that I experienced in Michigan and New York for all those years. There's just no substitution for Fall Color... I miss it.

  2. Those in between days (and nights) look pretty good from the photos you've posted in the past. I really like that shot of the moon you put up today.

  3. You're writing so many blogs all of a sudden, I can't keep up. But I wanted to mention with this particular title, "Autumn Leaves," I wanted to mention that Roger Williams passed away recently at the age of 87. His real name was Louis Wertz, and he lived in my hometown of Des Moines. As a matter of fact, we took from the same piano teacher, Sigrid Strangaard, a fellow Norwegian. Louis's father was a Lutheran pastor in our neighborhood, and Louis worked for a time at the same radio station as Ronald Reagan, WHO, where they became friends. This is all a rather pointless reflection, except that your nostalgic article brought some things back for me, too.

  4. Jeanne, thanks for that interesting info about your connection to Roger Williams. Our memories are fuzzy on this, but Joyce and I think we saw him perform live at Eastern Ky University back in the early '60s. I really like his version too.

    As for the blogs, I have two others, Dirt and Nashville Mysteries (I think that's the title!) but I don't often post on them, The C. Post is my home base.