Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Dooley Wilson

As Time Goes By

First recorded by Rudy Vallee (1931 |US #1 1942).
Also recorded by Jacques Renard (1931)
Popular version by Dooley Wilson & Elliot Carpenter (1942).

From the wiki: “Herman Hupfeld wrote ‘As Time Goes By’ for the 1931 Broadway musical Everybody’s Welcome. In the original show, it was sung by Frances Williams. It was recorded that year by several artists, including Rudy Vallée and an orchestra recording by Jacques Renard. In terms of popularity at the time, it was a modest hit. The song was re-introduced in 1942 in the film Casablanca, sung by Dooley Wilson accompanied by pianist Elliot Carpenter and heard throughout the film as a leitmotif. Wilson was unable to record his version of the song at the time due to the 1942–44 musicians’ strike, leading Brunswick to reissue the Jacques Renard’s 1931 recording; Victor also re-issued Vallée’s 1931 recording, giving Vallee a #1 hit in 1942. The song was voted #2 on the AFI’s 100 Years…100 Songs special, commemorating the best songs in film. ”

Taking a Chance on Love

First performed by Ethel Waters (1940).
First commercial recording by Ella Fitzgerald (1940).
Popular versions by Helen Forrest (US #1 1943), Ethel Waters (1946), Frank Sinatra (1954), Anita O’Day (1957).
Also recorded by Dinah Shore (1958), Liza Minnelli (1977).

From the wiki: “‘Taking a Chance on Love’ was written by Vernon Duke with lyrics by John La Touche and Ted Fetter, and has gone on to become a standard recorded by many artists. It was first performed in the Broadway musical Cabin in the Sky which opened at the Martin Beck Theater on October 25, 1940. (‘Taking a Chance on Love’ was added only three days before the New York opening, but it turned into the hit of the show.) The show was choreographed by George Balanchine and was a ground-breaking musical with an all-black cast. The leads were played by Ethel Waters as Petunia, Dooley Wilson (‘As Time Goes By‘) as her husband Little Joe, and Katherine Dunham as the temptress Georgia Brown.

“Waters introduced ‘Taking a Chance of Love’ as a show-stopping solo, reprising it at the end of Act I with Little Joe, and would reprise her performance in the 1943 motion picture release of Cabin in the Sky.

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