Tucker's Creativity Bridges Several Eras - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

09/21/07

Tucker's Creativity Bridges Several Eras

Ben Tucker Ben Tucker

The creative process, like their love, took time to cultivate. And both turned in many new and unexpected directions.

But the inspiration for "Coming Home Baby'' is as enduring as the song that symbolizes Ben and Gloria Tucker's relationship, which is still going strong after half a century.

"It was pure love, man,'' says Tucker. "It was, I love you and this is how I feel about you.''

Ben Tucker wrote "Coming Home Baby'' for his wife in 1961, 11 years before they moved to Savannah. The couple was dating and he was in his Brooklyn apartment practicing his bass, waiting for her to return from work as a secretary.

"I had a pot of oxtails on the stove cooking and I was saying, 'Come on home Gloria, let's have some wine and deal with this gourmet dish I've got going,''' said Tucker. "And that's how 'Coming Home Baby' came into strong being.''

The next night, Tucker recorded an instrumental version of the song at the Village Vanguard in New York City. Six months later, Bobby Dorough wrote accompanying lyrics, helping make it more marketable.

Over the next four decades, the song was recorded by 156 different artists, including Quincy Jones, Buddy Rich and David Sanborn.

Herbie Mann had the first hit with it. Mel Torme had the biggest. It has also been used in movies such as Get Shorty and Calendar Girls and commercials internationally.

Recently, "Coming Home Baby" came back to the contemporary music scene when Michael Buble included it on his latest CD, Call Me Irresponsible.

"I must say that I am absolutely flabbergasted that I have written music that is on a pop record,'' said Tucker.

It says something that a song written four decades ago is still being recorded today.

"It says my husband is a genius,'' said Gloria Tucker.

The genius of the song one recent review called a "wickedly hip '60s standard'' is in its timelessness, the way it has seemed current in several different eras and continues to be in demand 46 years after it was written.

Of course, it's tangible benefit has been the royalties that Tucker continues to collect, especially since he is now in business with an artist whose records have sold more than 11 million copies worldwide.

"It's made some money,'' says Tucker. "It has made me very comfortable. And, again I am very blessed and very thankful.''

But in all its versions and even if it had never earned a cent, "Coming Home Baby'' would always be the simplest of creations and sweetest of expressions.

"It's been an integral part of our lives,'' says Gloria Tucker. "We get into conversations and it comes up. We see things and it come up. And, of course, all those wonderful artists who have recorded it, that's just amazing.''

Reported by: Tim Guidera, tguidera@wtoc.com - Read more of Tim's stories here.

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