I have no idea where I first heard Fascination, but it’s a beautiful melody. I didn’t have a specific tune in mind to play tonight, so I thumbed through some books, including the copy of Dale Morris’ fiddle method that I’ve had since I was a teen.
When I played it, I knew I had heard it somewhere before. It lived somewhere in the deep dark recesses of my mind, sounding like an Italian cafe scene in a movie.
When Christina heard it, she said, “You should play more songs like this one.” I can’t disagree.
Fascination (Song) according to Wikipedia
“Fascination” is a popular waltz song with music (1904) by Fermo Dante Marchetti and lyrics (1905) by Maurice de Féraudy (English lyrics by Dick Manning). Published in 1932, it was featured in the 1933 film House on 56th Street, starring Kay Francis, adapted for the soundtrack of the 1946 film, The Diary of a Chambermaid, starring Paulette Goddard, and popularized in the 1955 movie The Grand Maneuver by René Clair and in the 1957 movie Love in the Afternoon by Billy Wilder.
A recording by Jane Morgan was released by Kapp Records as catalog number 191, which proved to become her signature song. It first reached the Billboard magazine charts on September 9, 1957. On the Disk Jockey chart, it peaked at #7; on the Best Seller chart, at #12; on the composite chart of the top 100 songs, it reached #11.
It was also recorded by Dinah Shore, Dick Jacobs, Nat King Cole, Earl Grant and David Carroll, all of whose versions, except Grant, made the charts.
The Melachrino Strings recorded an instrumental version of the song in London on January 26, 1949. It was released by EMI on the His Master’s Voice label as catalog numbers B 9781, HN 2882, JK 2660 and SAB 121.
Paul Mauriat recorded an instrumental version of the song on his album Best of France. There is also a Portuguese-language version, recorded by Carlos Galhardo in 1943. Elis Regina also recorded it for her album Falso Brilhante(1976). Pete Fountain recorded it in a medley with “Basin Street Blues”, “Tin Roof Blues” and “Way Down Yonder In New Orleans”.
It has also been featured on General Hospital numerous times, usually during Luke and Laura scenes. A faster-tempo version of this song was featured in the first two Karate Kid films. Once during the scene at the country club, where Ali and Johnny are dancing together. The second occasion in Part II, when Daniel and Miyagi are in the car with Chozen, and Chozen dials the radio to a station that plays this same song. You can even see Daniel react to hearing it, and the memory of Ali that it invokes. In The Next Karate Kid, Miyagi teaches Julie to dance to a vocal version of the song.
Jerry Herman’s melody for “Before the Parade Passes By” from Hello Dolly is extremely similar to the first two bars of “Fascination”.
“Fascination” was sung in the French film La Vie en rose (La Môme), by Maya Barsony, and is featured on the soundtrack.
The first show of the HBO series Boardwalk Empire featured an instrumental version of “Fascination”.