Thursday, April 1, 1976

50 years ago: Irving Berlin’s “Always” charts for the first of 9 times


George Olsen with Fran Frey, Bob Rice, & Edward Joyce

Writer(s): Irving Berlin (see lyrics here)

First Charted: April 1, 1926

Peak: 13 US, 13 GA, 110 SM (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 (sheet music)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 0.02 video, -- streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Writer Irving Berlin gave the rights to this song to his new wife, Ellis MacKay as a wedding gift, TY1 which led to substantial royalies. WK Not that she needed the money – she was from a wealthy family, which meant her romance with Berlin was splashed all over tabloid headings. DJ Her father, Clarence MacKay, disinherited her and had nothing to do with her for years, but they eventually reconciled. TY1

The legendary Groucho Marx claimed this song was intended for the Marx brothers’ movie The Cocoanuts WK However, the song was either cut or was never actually meant for the movie. WK Instead, “Always” got its introduction on vaudeville, thanks to Gladys Clark and Henry Bergman. It was an immediate hit, leading to multiple commercial recordings. George Olsen was the first to hit the charts with it, taking it to #1, as did Vincent Lopez. Henry Burr (#3), Nick Lucas (#4), and Lewis James (#12) also charted with it in 1926.

It resurfaced in 1942 as the theme music for the movie The Pride of the Yankees WK and again in 1944 when Deanna Durbin sang it in the film Christmas Holiday. DJ In 1945, the song showed up in Blithe Spirit, a movie based on a Noel Coward play. WK This gave the song a new chart life as Gordon Jenkins (#16), Paul Lavalle (#29), Sammy Kaye (#10), and Guy Lombardo (#10) all hit the charts with it in 1944-45.

The song has been covered by a diverse array of artists, including country versions by Patsy Cline and Kenny Rogers, MM as well as recordings from Tony Bennett, Leonard Cohen, Phil Collins, Billy Corgan (from Smashing Pumpkins), Ella Fitzgerald, Benny Goodman, Billie Holiday, the Ink Spots, Paul McCartney, and the Supremes. WK


Related Links:

First posted 4/24/2016; last updated 2/26/2023.

No comments:

Post a Comment