Lover Man (Oh Where Can You Be) – Billie Holiday / Sarah Vaughan

September 16, 2021

Today’s Song of the Day is “Lover Man,” originally recorded by Billie Holiday.

  • “Lover Man (Oh, Where Can You Be?) is a poignant love song written in 1941 by Jimmy Davis, Roger “Ram” Ramirez, and James Sherman.
  • In her 1956 autobiography Lady Sings the Blues, Holiday reveals that Davis wrote “Lover Man” while in the Army and brought it straight to her. Before they could record the song, the Army shipped Davis back to Europe, and Holiday never saw him again.
  • Though first published in 1942, a dispute between the musician’s union and record companies delayed the song’s recording until 1944.
  • Holiday loved the song so much that she decided she didn’t want to record it with an ordinary six-piece band. She begged her friend Milt Gabler at Decca Records to arrange for an orchestra to join her in the recording studio, and the rest is history.
  • Artists who’ve recorded versions of the song include Barbra Streisand, Diana Ross, and Patti LaBelle.
  • Sarah Vaughan recorded the song in 1945, backed by an instrumental ensemble that included Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker.
  • Billie Holiday’s rendition of “Lover Man” reached number 5 on the R&B Chart in 1945 and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1989.

Lyrics:

(LyricFind)

I don’t know why but I’m feeling so sad

I long to try something I never had

Never had no kissing

Oh, what I’ve been missing

Lover man, oh, where can you be

The night is cold and I’m so alone

I’d give my soul just to call you my own

Got a moon above me

But no one to love me

Lover man, oh, where can you be

I’ve heard it said

That the thrill of romance

Can be like a heavenly dream

I go to bed with a prayer

That you’ll make love to me

Strange as it seems

Someday we’ll meet

And you’ll dry all my tears

Then whisper sweet

Little things in my ear

Hugging and a kissing

Oh, what we’ve been missing

Lover man, oh, where can you be

I’ve heard it said

That the thrill of romance

Can be like a heavenly dream

I go to bed with a prayer

That you’ll make love to me

Strange as it seems

Someday we’ll meet

And you’ll dry all my tears

Then whisper sweet

Little things in my ear

Hugging and a kissing

Oh, what we’ve been missing

Lover man, oh, where can you be

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