Friday, December 5, 1986

50 years ago: Ray Noble charted with “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”

I’ve Got You Under My Skin

Ray Noble’s Orchestra with Al Bowlly

Writer(s): Cole Porter (see lyrics here)

First Charted: December 5, 1936

Peak: 3 US, 4 GA, 3 HP (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): --

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 0.11 video, -- streaming

Awards (Ray Noble):

Click on award for more details.

Awards (Frank Sinatra):

About the Song:

Cole Porter became one “of America’s popular songsmiths” LW because of his “gift of finding the right word for the right song.” LW He used “irony and cleverness” LW in his words and also integrated “humor and cheekiness, combined with…double entendres and popular cultural references as well as borrowing from famous literature.” LW

Virigina Bruce introduced the song in the musical Born to Dance, garnering a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Original Song. Ginny Simms sang it in the 1946 Cole Porter biopic Night and Day. Hal Kemp had the first chart version in October 1936, reaching #8. Weeks later, Ray Noble’s Orchestra had the most successful version (#3) with Al Bowlly featured as the lead vocalist. The song charted multiple times over the years, including a parody by Stan Freberg (#11 US, 1951), and versions by Louis Prima & Keely Smith (#95, 1959) and the Four Seasons (#9 US, 1966). In 1990, rapper Neneh Cherry recorded the song for the Red Hot + Blue Cole Porter tribute album and it reached #25 in the UK.

It became one of Frank Sinatra’s signature songs. WK Some even consider it the “classic interpretation” of the song. LW He “feels like he is writing the song as he goes along.” LW He first sang it in 1946 as part of a medley with “Easy to Love” on his weekly radio show. WK He recorded the song for his 1956 album Songs for Swingin’ Lovers with the Nelson Riddle Orchestra and again in 1963. He revisited it again for his 1993 Duets album, singing with U2’s Bono in a version which reached #4 in the UK.

The song has been interpreted in different ways. It may be abot unrequited love, maybe gay love, since Porter was married to a rich society lady but had affairs with men. Porter was also a prolific drug user, leading to speculation that “references to sacrificing everything and trying to resist” LW might mean the song was about drugs.


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First posted 11/22/2022.

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