Wednesday, September 22, 2010

They're Playing Our Song

Photo: Bill Youngblood
In the spring of 1999, my groom Charlie and I were planning our wedding which would take place on September 23, 2000. This was my first marriage.  I was well past my ingenue years and, even as a teenager and young adult, I'd never dreamed about getting married or having a wedding.  So I was surprised when I wanted a wedding, a traditional one with all the pomp and ceremony.

As the larger decisions--ceremony, reception, music, food, attire--came together, we began to consider the smaller details. One detail turned out to be not so small. What song did we want for our first dance as husband and wife?  We didn't have an "our song." The thought of an "our song" was so romantic and classic, so Bogie and Bacall, so Tracy and Hepburn, so Liz and Dick. How does a couple get one, make the decision that this is our song? It's not something you just pick out of the vinyl-coated, buffalo-wings-grease-smeared pages of a karoke song book. 
Vintage 1950s cake topper I bought on eBay.
Photo: Bill Youngblood.

I decided to be practical. Forget about "our song." While we loved to dance, we'd never taken those ballroom dancing lessons we'd always talked about and were too busy to start so a swing tune like "Fly Me to the Moon" was out. I began scouting around for something easy to dance to. I also wanted something classy and that hadn't been done to death.  No "Love Me Tender." No "From this Moment On." No "How Deep is Your Love." No. No. No. Love "Moon River," but cripes, too slow. And I wanted the song for our first dance to mean something. Even if it wasn't the elusive "our song," it had to be a great song.

One weekend, we went to La Jolla, California. Charlie had a business meeting nearby and we splurged on a stay at the La Valencia Hotel. Yes, it's as wonderful as it looks.  That evening, we sat in the lobby bar where there was a piano singer--a dying breed. He started playing and singing a song that made me sit straighter.  What was that tune?  I'd heard it before, but hadn't really paid attention to it. Now, I was enthralled, especially when my husband-to-be spontaneously started singing along:

"I can only give you country walks in springtime,
and a hand to hold when leaves begin to fall.
And a love whose burning light,
Will warm a winter's night..."

The lyrics expressed what we felt about each other. The melody was memorable and... easy to dance to.  I asked Charlie, "What's that song?" He turned to me and sang, "That's all.  That's all..."

I've since learned that "That's All" was written in 1952 and has been recorded by many greats including Nat "King" Cole, Frank Sinatra, Mel Torme and Bobby Darin.

Our first dance to "That's All." Photo: Bill Youngblood.
Ever since, whenever we're lucky to find a place with a great piano singer, we always request "That's All."  We listen, misty eyed. Sometimes we dance. I love it so much that when I dedicated The First Cut, the first in my Detective Nan Vining series, and Love Kills, the fourth, to Charlie, I included a homage to "That's All."

So, here's our song, for you Charlie.  Happy tenth anniversary, sweetheart.

My favorite version is by Mel Torme, but I also love this classic version sung by Edie Adams on the "I Love Lucy" series finale in 1960. 

Here's a lovely rendition by Cynthia Lin on ukulele that she performed at her sister's wedding.


  1. Thanks My Love, yes it was a wonderous day and our life together continues to be wonderful. It was so thoughtful of you to share this with your fans and friends. I promise to always give you Country Walks in Springtime and a Hand to Hold - not only when leaves begin to fall but forever - THAT'S ALL. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY MY LOVE, MY WIFE , Charlie

  2. Wonderful blog! Welcome back, lady. :-)

  3. I just realized that I'd never seen your wedding pictures! How did we let THAT happen?

  4. A truly sweet story of true love Dianne !
    The DJ at the Raddison Hotel did not call
    on this Dad to say or sing anything at My
    Son Robert , Junior and Karen's wedding
    at the beautiful Raddison Hotel in Sacramento .
    Rather We tghree held hands at midnight and
    prayed : - )
    Two years later however in Colorado
    My Son introduced His Dad . I read poems
    by My Son and Daughter Sharon and sang
    a small part of a victory song about Who
    Jesus is to us .
    The nezxt day My life changed Dianne .
    But that is another story .
    Thank You for sharing the
    beautiful true love insight
    with us ,

    Robert Vaughn : - )

  5. Happy anniversary, you two sweeties.

  6. Thanks for the anniversary wishes, Mardi, Robert, Elizabeth, and Petrea! Mardi, the next time you're in SoCal, we'll spend a fun hour looking through Charlie and my wedding photos. Our photographer, Bill Youngblood, is terrific. He also did my book jacket photo.

    And Charlie, happy 10th anniversary! Yesterday, on our anniversary, we danced to Mel Torme's "That's All," just us two at home. :-)

  7. Great to see a new blog post, Dianne! For a minute there I thot maybe u had gotten tired of writing. Or, made shopping & eating your new f/t career.

  8. Cafe, never tired of writing. Sometimes Life shows who's in charge is all. Can I make a f/t career out of eating and shopping? Now that's tempting!

  9. Thats a great tune for a great couple. Thanks, DE!

  10. Cuz! I didn't know you had a blog! I will be a faithful reader now. I have a blog, too, but it's pretty new, so I'm still figuring out what in the heck I'm doing:

    Congrats on 10 years! What a sweet and moving post.


  11. Ha, ok, I mean 11th anniversary! It took me a minute to realize this was a year old. Doh.