OK, so Monday was actually Kenward Elmslie's 80th birthday. But tonight is his big birthday tribute reading/performance with longtime friends Bill Berkson, Ron Padgett, Ann Lauterbach and Ned Rorem (whom I've certainly never seen in the flesh). In honor of the occasion, here's a hastily digitized mp3 of his first published song, "Love-Wise" (music by Marvin Fisher). This was apparently written, circa 1959, for a show that never got off the ground, but it was taken up by Nat King Cole, for who it was a jukebox "hitlet" (Elmslie's term). The recording below, by cabaret legend Mabel Mercer backed by the Jimmy Lyon, is even less well-known (at least, I'd never heard of it until Bree brought the record home, and I dote on both the singer and the writer); it's from the Atlantic album Merely Marvelous. Happy Birthday!