5. "Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise" is from his second album, "That's All," the album that made him a household name. Like he did so often, Bobby took a love song and sang it brash and bold instead. The result? Electrifying!
4. "Feeling Good" is a much more recent favorite of mine -- I heard it for the first time a couple of years ago, and it's just plain fun.
3. "Happy" is the love song from the Billie Holliday biopic Lady Sings the Blues (1972). It's the last big single Bobby released before he died. It's tender and haunting and hopeful, and makes me cry oftener than any of his other songs, but in a good way. Honestly, if you're going to listen to just one song in this post, listen to this one. But the ending drags on -- when the backup singers start singing, "Happy, I feel so happy, you make me happy" you can quit if you want, cuz Bobby doesn't sing anymore from there on out.
2. "Don't Rain on My Parade" is kind of my anthem for life. I like to listen to it when I need pepping up, or need to get my moxie on to do something I know will be tough.
1. "Mack the Knife" is from the same album as "Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise," and it was Bobby's biggest hit. It set a record for staying at #1 the most weeks on the Billboard charts at that time, and has been the song people most associate with him ever since. Here's that classic recording:
And as a bonus, here he is singing it on TV in 1959, twenty-three years old and on top of the world:
Like the title of his star-making album says... That's All :-)