Peter Asher (wish he had his own podcast!) recommends a book Beatles publicist Derek Taylor wrote in this excellent Tetragrammaton (Rick Rubin) episode…
The book, "As Time Goes By" is a fun read. Derek was very close with the Beatles, even being called 'the fifth Beatle' at times. On the last page he sums up what he'd been up to since leaving Apple records and mentions having produced Harry Nilsson's "A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night", which I'd never heard of. It turned out to be cover songs from the American Songbook, classics arranged by Gordon Jenkins.
Nilsson covers a song I love that is not as well known, "This Is All I Ask". The whole album is excellent, and I'll link to it further down, but check out this last verse and wait til he gets to the word 'sing'. Whoa!
The whole album is A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night
I know "This Is All I Ask" through the Nat King Cole version which is spectacular. It's written and arranged by Gordon Jenkins!
I was hoping I'd find a live version. It's not in this set but, check it out! A 1963 BBC Nat King Cole special!
The Derek Taylor book is on Archive. "As Time Goes By"
As time goes by; living in the sixties with John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Brian Epstein, Allen Klein, Mae West, Brian Wilson, the Byrds, Danny Kaye, the Beach Boys, one wife and six children in London, Los Angeles, New York City, and on the road
From "Goodbye : in search of Gordon Jenkins" by Bruce Jenkins.
Oh look! A few days after the recording session (March 1973) the BBC recorded a studio concert of most of the material! Fantastic! (Click on image to watch on YT).
There's an interesting bit of interplay between Nilsson and Jenkins where Jenkins seems to be throwing a little shade Harry's way. Harry handles it beautifully, but I have to wonder what led up to it.
I've just ordered the Jenkins book and will update if there are any insights to share.