It Might as Well Be Spring

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"It Might as Well Be Spring"
Song
Published 1945
Songwriter(s) Oscar Hammerstein II
Composer(s) Richard Rodgers

"It Might as Well Be Spring" is a song from the 1945 film State Fair.[1] With music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, it won the Academy Award for Best Original Song that year.[1]

State Fair was the only original film score by Rodgers and Hammerstein. In the film the song was mimed by Jeanne Crain,[1] who played Margy Frake, but was dubbed by Louanne Hogan. Dick Haymes, the original Wayne Frake, made the first hit recording of the song, released by Decca Records as catalog number 18706. It first reached the Billboard magazine Best Seller chart on November 8, 1945 and lasted 12 weeks on the chart, peaking at #5.[2] It was the flip side of "That's for Me," another top-10 best seller.

Composition

An early version of the composition exists with an alternate melody. Music historian Todd Purdum described the alternate version in 2018:

It is the only Rodgers and Hammerstein song for which a complete alternate melody, different from the final version, is known to exist. Rodger's initial take was a legato musical line, but as he pondered Hammerstein's words he though better of his first idea, and instead substituted a syncopated melody that jumped from interval to interval, as if the notes themselves were puppets on strings."[3]

Covers

The recording by Paul Weston/Margaret Whiting was released by Capitol Records as catalog number 214. It first reached the Billboard magazine Best Seller chart on November 22, 1945, and lasted six weeks on the chart, peaking at #6.[2]

The recording by Sammy Kaye was released by RCA Victor Records as catalog number 20-1738. It first reached the Billboard magazine Best Seller chart on December 20, 1945 and lasted four weeks on the chart, peaking at #8.[2]

The recording by Paul Fenoulhet with The Skyrockets Dance Orchestra (with refrain song) was made in London on February 2, 1946, and released by EMI on the HMV Records label as catalogue number BD 5928.

A version sung by Sarah Vaughan appears on her 1949, Columbia compilation album: Sarah Vaughan in Hi-Fi.

In 1952, Harry James released a recording on the album Hollywood's Best (Columbia B-319 and CL-6224), with Rosemary Clooney on vocals.

Johnny Mathis recorded the song for his self-titled, 1956 debut album: Johnny Mathis. Also in 1956, it was featured by Blossom Dearie (in French) on her album: Blossom Dearie.

The version by Ray Conniff and his Orchestra & Chorus can be found on his album, Hollywood In Rhythm (1958).

In 1959, singer and pianist Nina Simone sang it on her first album for Colpix Records, titled The Amazing Nina Simone. The same year, Shirley Jones and Jack Cassidy released their version on the album With Love From Hollywood.

In 1961, the song was a hit for Frank Sinatra on his album Sinatra and Strings, and Ella Fitzgerald also recorded it on her live Verve release: Ella in Hollywood.

In 1964 Stan Getz and Astrud Gilberto recorded a live Bossa Nova version of the song in the New York cafe au Go Go.

Andy Williams released a version on his 1962 album: Moon River and Other Great Movie Themes.

Bill Evans released a version on his 1962 album Moon Beams.

Peggy Lee sang a swinging version of the song on her 1967 album Something Groovy.

Karrin Allyson included it in her debut album I Didn't Know About You (1992)

John Pizzarelli with his trio and guest Harry Allen on tenor sax recorded a very mellow version on After Hours (1995).

Jazz pianist Brad Mehldau plays this with his trio in his 1995 studio album Introducing Brad Mehldau. His version runs at about 280 beats per minute in a 7-in-a-bar meter. On the 2000 live double CD Progression, The Art of the Trio Volume 5, Mehldau performs a shorter version at the same tempo and meter, without improvised solos but with an extended improvised coda on the turnaround.

Jazz singer Jane Monheit performs the song as an up-tempo swing waltz on Live at the Rainbow Room (2003).

Jazz vocalist Stevie Holland performs a swinging rendition in the album Restless Willow (2004).

In 2013, a recording of the song by Shirley Bassey was released on the album Hold Me Tight.[4]

On the 2014 album Last Dance, Keith Jarrett and Charlie Haden played the song. Last Dance was the second and last album they recorded together.

References

  1. ^ a b c Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 134. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  2. ^ a b c Whitburn, Joel (1973). Top Pop Records 1940-1955. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research.
  3. ^ Purdum, Todd S. (2018). Something Wonderful. New York: Henry Holt and Company. p. 104. ISBN 978-1-62779-834-1.
  4. ^ "Hold Me Tight". amazon.co.uk. December 4, 2013. Retrieved 19 October 2016.
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