Originally released deep in a Prix Label compilation, a mysterious — and wonderful — song called “You and Me” remained largely unheard until Ryan Gosling plucked it from obscurity as a centerpiece for this year’s Derek Cianfrance-directed indie romantic drama Blue Valentine. All that was known about the song’s performers is that they were a group dubbed Penny and the Quarters, but once attention surrounding the tune reached a fever pitch upon the film’s wide release, the identity of one key member surfaced from the Columbus, Ohio one-off ensemble: Jay Robinson, the man who wrote the song passed away in 2009, though his widow, Glodean Robinson, has offered some memories and insight about the origins of the recording. A lot more details can be found in this article from The Other Paper, but here’s one quote I particularly enjoyed:
[Jay Robinson] was telling me how you never know what might happen when you walk in a studio, and how this girl was there—she sounded so good, and like Jay, just loved to sing. He asked her to sing his song. He thought it might be released. He told me, ‘I didn’t know what we should call ourselves. I had my hand in my pocket and only had a penny and a quarter in there. I said, ‘We’ll call the band Penny and the Quarters.’
The identity of said female singer has yet to be confirmed, though there are a few rumors. In any event, Some Velvet Blog points out that Numero Group are re-releasing “You and Me” (with royalties going to Robinson’s surviving family) digitally and as a vinyl 45 alongside another cut from those fateful recording sessions, “You Are Giving Me Some Other Love.” You can purchase and stream the record here.