Question: Hi. I really hope you can help me. My mother died very suddenly and my dad has gone through letters she wrote. In one letter, dated November 11, 1963, she tells my dad about a guy who appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show and sang a song she called "More." I really hope you can tell me who this was and what the song is so that I might be able to get a copy of it for him. He never heard the song, and now really wants to know what it said. Something about "loving you more" or "love you more." Please help! Thanks.
Answer: After a lot of searching and digging, P., I'm pretty sure I've got enough to help you out.
When you hear it, I'm sure you'll recognize the easy-listening staple "More," which is popular in its vocal and instrumental versions. Written by Riz Ortolani, Nino Oliviero and Norman Newell, it was nominated for a Best Music (Song) Academy Award in 1963 as part of the Mondo Cane soundtrack, but lost out to Jimmy Van Heusen and Sammy Cahn's "Call Me Irresponsible" (from Papa's Delicate Condition). A version by trombone player Kai Winding made it as high as No. 8 on Billboard's charts that year, and Frank Sinatra had a hit with it the following year when he performed it with Count Basie. Others who took their turn at it include Perry Como, Nat King Cole, Doris Day, Bobby Darin and a host of singers too numerous to list here.
I pulled out the Ed Sullivan guest list for November 10, 1963, but it's not clear who, if anyone, might have performed the song that night. Those appearing included comedian Shelley Berman, comics Allen and Rossi, Jane Russell, Connie Haines and the Ben Davis Trio, accordion player Dick Contino, singer Teri Thornton, British ventriloquist Dennis Spicer, the West Point Cadet Glee Club, elephants Baby Opal and Baby Kay (we can probably rule them out) and the Hugh Lambert Dancers.
For the record, the part of the song you're thinking of is, "More than the greatest love the world has known / This is the love I give to you alone / More than the simple words I try to say / I only live to love you more each day."
I'm sorry for your loss and hope I've helped you and your dad share this memory.