Pardon me, haven’t we met?

A highly regarded jazz-guitarist, who happened to have backed Dylan on his 1965 acoustic-to-electric transition album “Bringing It All Back Home,” his five-decade musical career was one of those that flourished outside the box of categorization.

Some will remember him for his fine re-workings of Beatles classics (“While My Guitar Gently Weeps” “I’ve Just Seen a Face” “Penny Lane” “With a Little Help From My Friends” are a few), and Paul McCartney famously requested that he perform his version of “Blackbird” at Lennon and McCartney’s induction ceremony into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

But Kenny Rankin, who was born in 1940 in Washington Heights, NY, was also a songwriter in his own right.  Citing Laura Nyro, whom he met in Greenwich Village in the early ‘60s as his most abiding influence, he was a pretty good one at that. Many of his songs were covered by the rarified likes of: Mel Torme, Stan Getz (who referred to him as “a horn with a heartbeat”), Carmen McRae, Georgie Fame and Peggy Lee.

By all accounts Rankin, whose musical tastes were incredibly eclectic, was an interesting man, and he also had some interesting friends, including Johnny Carson (Rankin appeared on the Tonight Show more than 20 times and Carson wrote the liner notes to his debut album), Helen Reddy (who scored a follow-up hit to “I am Woman” with his song, “Peaceful”) and comedian, George Carlin.

Rankin had opened for Carlin at a Broadway theater in 1972 and they quickly became pals, frequently touring together throughout the ‘70s and beyond. After Carlin died from heart failure in June 2008, Rankin sang at his memorial service. Sadly he himself died almost exactly a year later and just three weeks after being diagnosed with terminal lung cancer.

This song comes from Kenny Rankin’s 1974 album, “Silver Morning” and was later covered by both Mel Torme and Carmen McRae.


Haven’t We Met?

I’ve ordered some rain for tomorrow

The sky will be sunny but wet

And out of nowhere, you’re suddenly there

And I say yeah,

Pardon me, haven’t we met?

 I’ve ordered some sunshine with showers

And I’ve got my scenery set

Right there with a thump our umbrellas gonna’ bump

And I say yeah,

Yeah, pardon me, haven’t we met?

 Accidents can happen

And into one I’m gonna slide

There’s a good chance to get my hands

On a little romance,

When two hearts collide

 And I know that’s just how it happened

When Romeo met Juliet

Somewhere I read that old Romeo said

Pardon me, haven’t we met?

 And I know that’s just how it happened

When Romeo met Juliet

Somewhere I read that old Romeo said

Pardon me,

Oh he said, pardon me

He said, pardon me, haven’t we met?


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