Want to listen to the very songs that made Amy Winehouse the remarkable singer she was? To celebrate the release of his intimate account of Amy’s life, Amy, My Daughter, Mitch Winehouse has put together a personal playlist of the tunes that Amy grew up with, loved and sang – the songs that inspired her and tell the story of her life.
Influenced by Mitch’s own love of Sixties big band jazz, Amy learned from the greats from a young age. Together father and daughter would sing Frank Sinatra’s ‘Fly Me to the Moon’, and throughout her childhood the voices of legendary jazz singers Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington and Sarah Vaughan filled the house.
But it was when she sang Alanis Morissette’s ‘Ironic’ at school that Mitch realised his daughter had incredible vocal talents of her own. Soon Amy was making the jazz standard ‘On the Sunny Side of the Street’ her own at her Sylvia Young Theatre School audition, and recording her first song, ‘The Nearness of You’. Mitch’s playlist also pays tribute to Amy’s own songwriting with ‘Take the Box’, and, of course, the Sixties girl groups – such as The Shangri-Las, The Ronettes and The Crystals – that inspired that famous beehive and the retro sound epitomised in Back to Black.
Perhaps the most poignant inclusion, though, is Amy’s duet with Tony Bennett – her last recording, with Mitch’s favourite singer, performing Mitch’s favourite song, ‘Body and Soul’. It won them a Grammy, though sadly it came too late for Amy.
Read the full story behind these influential songs, plus Mitch’s take on her early years, her rise to fame and her battles with addiction, in Amy, My Daughter, out now. It’s the ultimate tribute, in words and music, to a daughter and an icon.