I know I’d go from rags to riches, If you would only say you care;
And though my pocket may be empty, I’d be a millionaire.
My clothes may still be torn and tattered, But in my heart I’d be a king.
Your love is all that ever mattered; It’s everything.
So open your arms and you’ll open the door
To all the treasures that I’m hoping for.
Hold me and kiss me and tell me you’re mine evermore!
Must I forever stay a beggar
Whose golden dream will not come true,
Or will I go from rags to riches?
In 1950, Mitch Miller went to Columbia Records,
and the music business was never quite the same again. The former
classical oboist immediately brought his own strong opinions about popular
music into play. He believed in “sounds” and songs with simple, to-the-point
lyrics. Soon the airwaves were alive with tunes like “Come On-a My
House”, sung by Rosemary Clooney, “Jazebel,” by Frankie Laine, and “Feet
Up (Pat Him on the Po-Po),” by Guy Mitchell. This isn’t to say that
during Miller’s long tenure all of Columbia’s recordings were novelty tunes.
Given the company’s connection with the musical theater, Miller recorded
many lovely ballads during the 1950s and early ‘60s. And, to Mitch’s
credit in many people’s eyes, he kept rock ‘n’ roll from surfacing at Columbia
during his reign. One of Miller’s protégés was a young
Italian-American from New York City who called himself Tony Bennett.
The Columbia people – and Tony – were wise in the material they selected
for him: “sound” songs to be sure, yet tunes for which he had a special feel,
with his rich, romantic baritone. One of these songs was “Rags to
Riches,” a No. 1 hit for Tony in 1953.