Vinyl single, stage/television production, digital remix…
and now a “music video” in the fashion of Paradise Serenade…
“Ain’t no sunshine when he’s gone
It’s not warm when he’s away
Ain’t no sunshine when he’s gone
And he’s always gone too long
Anytime he goes away”
Nancy’s achingly beautiful treatment of Bill Withers’ “Ain’t No Sunshine” has emerged in several forms since its conception in 1971. Presented to record buyers on Nancy’s final release for the RCA label, her interpretation was pressed on the flip side of 1973′s Sugar Me single. Produced by Jimmy Bowen and arranged by Billy Strange, the recording was issued on a non-album commercial 45 in stereo (APBO-0029), and a promotional 45 in mono (DJAO-0029).
As part of Nancy’s adaptation of her June and July 1971 shows at the International Hotel in Las Vegas, “Ain’t No Sunshine” was to be featured in her third “Movin’” television special, Movin’ With Nancy, Nice ‘n’ Easy. Elements of the unaired production, which include “Ain’t No Sunshine,” remain in Nancy’s vault, and, as she reveals, contain “some real gems”:
“Movin’ With Nancy, Nice ‘n’ Easy was taped at NBC Burbank studios. It’s a shame we couldn’t finish it (no money) because it would have been a good show. What we have of it is more a collection of what would now be called music videos. They are still entertaining and fun [...].”
For 2009′s Cherry Smiles: The Rare Singles compilation, Nancy updated her RCA recording of “Ain’t No Sunshine” with a remix of remarkable immediacy by her engineer, Daniel Hoal. This digital version of “Ain’t No Sunshine” represents the recording’s first release since the vinyl single.
Demonstrating the longevity of Nancy’s work, her rendition of “Ain’t No Sunshine” has reemerged – this time in Katja Hentschel’s 2012 film Paradise Serenade, in which a lovely and aquatic Bonnie Strange appears at the Velassaru Maldives Resort. (Thanks to Sinatra Family Forum moderators Ace and Richard for previously posting a link in the Cherry Smiles thread.)
Regarding the film, Nancy, Bonnie and Katja engaged in a December 6-7, 2012 conversation on Twitter.