Five Good Covers presents five cross-genre reinterpretations of an oft-covered song.
Hundreds of covers of “A Taste of Honey” exist, but only a few people will recognize it if you hum a few bars. The folks who recognize it may not be able to name the tune, and no one will be able to name its composer.
It was Robert William Scott. He wrote the piece initially as an instrumental, a motif for the 1960 Broadway production of A Taste of Honey, the notorious British play. Bobby Scott was known mostly as a pianist, singer, and producer, but he did have another songwriting win with “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother,” a modest hit for The Hollies in 1969.
Luckily for Bobby Scott, someone had the idea to put words to his tune, so that they could get rising star Tony Bennett to record it. Enter Ric Marlow, a struggling singer/actor/writer/fabric salesman, who turned in a poetic lyric that clicked with the music. With that, a hit was born, though it took the public a few years to realize it.