Today Is the 50th Anniversary of the Greatest Record Ever Made

John+Coltrane++Johnny+HartmanThat would be John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman, recorded on this day in 1963. Before you furrow your brow, you should know that a lot of people feel this way, Daniel Okrent among them. In 1990 Okrent titled an essay in Esquire magazine much the same way I’ve titled this post.

Personally, I don’t think it’s the greatest record ever made. I don’t think any record is the greatest record ever made. But I do think it is one of the best and most hauntingly beautiful jazz vocal albums. Don’t take my word for it, though. Here’s the ballad “They Say It’s Wonderful,” the first track from the album.