Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Rudy Vallee

As Time Goes By

First recorded by Rudy Vallee (1931 |US #1 1942).
Popular version by Dooley Wilson & Elliot Carpenter from Casablanca (1942).
Other hit versions by Jacques Renard (1931 |US #3 1942), Dooley Wilson (1943 |UK #15/AUS #86 1978).

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; also an orchestral recording by Jacques Renard. Neither recording had made a great impact in 1931.

“‘As Time Goes By’ was re-introduced in 1942 in the film Casablanca, sung by Dooley Wilson accompanied by pianist Jean Plummer and heard throughout the film as a leitmotif. (Wilson was a professional drummer by trade so was forced to mime his piano playing in the film to a recording, likely by studio musician Plummer.) However, Wilson was unable to record a commercial release of the song at the time due to a musicians’ strike, leading Brunswick to reissue the Jacques Renard’s 1931 instrumental recording; Victor also re-issued Vallée’s 1931 vocal recording, giving Vallee a #1 hit and Renard a #3 hit in 1942.