Song Of The Day 8/11/2016: Dante’s Inferno – “Ain’t Misbehavin’”

Quarterly Covers Report – I know, believe me, I know: There's a lot to distrust about this particular track. (a) It's disco. (b) It's a disco interpretation of a song from early jazz genius Fats Waller. I promise we'll address the issue of rampant disco covers of the jazz age in a later edition of this blog. But I'd rather this SOTD be in testimony to Ron Dante, who had as strange a music career as anyone who attained his level of success, which was quite high. He was a member of the Detergents who recorded one of my favorite musical comedy records of the '60s. Then he was the lead singer of the Archies, the first band to not really exist to top the charts. He either was in or flat-out was The Cuff Links. He more or less discovered Barry Manilow and produced all of his major hits. I'm not sure how you feel about that, but I'm totally fine with it. He gravitated towards Broadway where he produced a couple of Tony award-winning theatrical hits. He produced Cher's "Take Me Home." Allegedly he produced something by Pat Benatar but doesn't say what it was.

One of the Broadway shows Dante produced was the great Ain't Misbehavin', a tremendous revue of Fats Wallers' music that introduced Nell Carter to the general populace. The year after, for reasons that I'm sure made sense at the time and probably still do to some extent, he put out disco records under the name Dante's Inferno. So I guess he felt some entitlement to put out "Ain't Misbehavin'" as a disco single at that time, and let's face it, he did. I'm a little disappointed that he wasn't behind Rice & Beans Orchestra's disco retelling of Dante's Inferno (parts one and/or two), but it's their own fault for not asking him.

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