First recorded (in English) by Harry James & His Orchestra with Marion Morgan (1947).
Hit versions Roger Williams (US #37 1955), Bobby Darin (US #6/R&B #15/UK #8 1959), George Benson (UK #60 1984).
From the wiki: “‘Beyond the Sea’ is the English adaptation of a romantic love song (‘La Mer’) by Charles Trenet. Trenet was most famous for his recordings from the late 1930s until the mid-1950s. In an era in which it was unusual for a singer to write their own material, Trenet wrote prolifically and declined to record any but his own songs.
“According to legend, ‘La Mer’ was composed with Léo Chauliac on-board a train in 1943. Trenet explained in an interview that he was told that ‘La Mer’ was not ‘swing’ enough to be a hit, and for this reason the song sat in a drawer for two years before being recorded for the first time in 1945 by Roland Gerbeau. Trenet would record a cover of his own song also in 1946.
“The song was given unrelated English lyrics by Jack Lawrence (‘All or Nothing At All’, ‘Linda’) in 1947 and was then recorded by Harry James with Marion Morgan under the title ‘Beyond the Sea’. (Trenet’s French version was a homage and ode to the changing moods of the sea, while Lawrence, by just adding one word ‘Beyond’ to the title, turned it into a song of mourning for a lost love.)
“The English-language version of ‘Beyond the Sea’ has been recorded by many artists since being first adapted and recorded by James and Morgan in 1947. Pianist Roger Williams charted in the US Top 40 in 1955. But, it is Bobby Darin’s arrangement, released in late 1959, that is the best known by many, reaching #6 on the Billboard Hot 100, #15 on the US R&B Chart, and #8 in the UK Singles Chart (in early 1960).
“George Benson recorded an R&B version of the song under the title ‘Beyond The Sea (La Mer)’ in 1984 for his album 20/20. A promotional single of the song charted in the UK in 1985.”
Roland Gerbaeu, “La Mer” (1946):
Charles Trenet, “La Mer” (1946):
Roger Williams, “Beyond the Sea (La Mer)” (1955):
Bobby Darin, “Beyond the Sea” (1959):
George Benson, “Beyond the Sea” (1984):