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|"(When Your Heart's on Fire)|
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes"
|Single by Gertrude Niesen|
(with Ray Sinatra and his Orchestra)
|Recorded||October 13, 1933|
"Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" is a show tune written by American composer Jerome Kern and lyricist Otto Harbach for their 1933 musical Roberta. The song was sung in the original Broadway show by Tamara Drasin. Its first recorded performance was by Gertrude Niesen, who recorded the song with orchestral direction from Ray Sinatra, Frank Sinatra's second cousin, on October 13, 1933. Niesen's recording of the song was released by Victor, catalog# VE B 24454, with the B-side, "Jealousy", featuring Isham Jones and his Orchestra.
Paul Whiteman had the first hit recording of the song on the record charts in 1934. The song was later reprised by Irene Dunne, who performed it in the original 1935 film adaptation of the musical, co-starring Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers and Randolph Scott. The song was also included in the 1952 remake of Roberta, Lovely to Look At, in which it was performed by Kathryn Grayson, and was a chart hit in 1958 for The Platters.
Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra performed the song with vocals by Bob Lawrence. This version of the song topped music charts in 1934. The Tommy Dorsey orchestra released their version in 1938. The B-side to Dorsey's single was "Night and Day". During the mid-to-late 1930s Larry Adler and Henry Hall recorded live radio performances of the song on BBC Radio. Adler's rendition was a syncopated, harmonic arrangement. Hall's was with the BBC orchestra with vocals by Dan Donovan. Hall's version was released as a 10" single. Pianist Art Tatum said in an introduction in 1955 that he performed "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" in the 1930s.
In 1941 the Benny Goodman Orchestra played the song on the radio with Helen Forrest. Forrest left the ensemble during the early part of 1941. Goodman replaced her with Peggy Lee. Her recording for a Mutual broadcast was released on the album Benny and Sid Roll 'Em. Glenn Miller conducted his rendition of the song at Abbey Road Studios in 1944, but due to his death later that year, his version was unreleased until 1995.
On October 30, 1946 Nat "King" Cole recorded the song in his trio with Oscar Moore on guitar and Johnny Miller on double bass during a live broadcast from New York City. Cole performed it on television in 1957 for The Nat King Cole Show.
Harry Belafonte made a recording of the song in 1949 with jazz saxophonist Zoot Sims. This was one of Belafonte's first recordings. Sims' performance was parodied on December 10, 1977 on The Muppet Show by the character he inspired.
In 1950 Charlie Parker and Jo Stafford each released versions of the song on their respective albums, Bird at St. Nick's and Autumn in New York. Dinah Washington released the song in 1956, on her album Dinah!. Jeri Southern named her 1957 album When Your Heart's On Fire after a lyric from the song; the album features her version of the song. The same year as Nat King Cole's televised performance of the song, Polly Bergen performed the song during the series premiere of her variety show The Polly Bergen Show, originally airing September 21, 1957. In 1958 Sarah Vaughan released her rendition on her album, No Count Sarah. Eartha Kitt recorded "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" with the Henri Rene Orchestra in 1952. These sessions also yielded her hit single "Santa Baby".
The Platters version
|"Smoke Gets in Your Eyes"|
|Single by The Platters|
|from the album Remember When?|
|B-side||"No Matter What You Are"|
|The Platters singles chronology|
"Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" was recorded in 1958 by The Platters for their album Remember When?. The group's version became a number one hit in the U.S. on the Billboard Hot 100 music chart. In 1959 it peaked at No. 3 on the Rhythm and Blues chart. The song spent 20 weeks on the UK charts, peaking at Number 1 for one week on 20 March of that same year. Buck Ram, the producer, said that Harbach praised them "for reviving his song with taste." But the widow of composer Jerome Kern disliked the recording so much she considered legal action to prevent its distribution.
|Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)||5|
|Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)||8|
|Netherlands (Single Top 100)||4|
|UK New Musical Express||1|
|US Billboard Hot 100||1|
|US Billboard Hot R&B Sides||3|
Margaret Whiting released the song on her 1960 album Margaret Whiting Sings the Jerome Kern Songbook. On February 2, 1964, Judy Garland performed the song comically on television show. She sat at a small table, singing longingly while the house burns and firefighters break down the door. While they carried her out, she continued singing.
A remake of the song by British band Blue Haze, formed by Johnny Arthey and Phil Swern, Penny McLean, of the West German band Silver Convention, released a solo version in 1975 on her album Lady Bump; her version reached No. 6 on the Billboard Disco Singles chart.
In 1994, the Ralph Dunnegan All Stars with the Adam Mansell Orchestra recorded the song. That version appears on 70 Years of Broadway, Vol. 1: 1924–1935.
"Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" was translated to Lithuanian by Vytautas Bložė around 2003; in Lithuanian the song is "Žiedų Pūga". Alison Jiear recorded a version of the song with orchestral arrangements by Mychael Danna in 2004 for the film Being Julia.
List of notable recordings
|1961||Cannonball Adderley||African Waltz|||
|1955||Clifford Brown||Clifford Brown with Strings|||
|1999||Kurt Elling||Live in Chicago|||
|1995||Jerry Garcia Band||Smoke|||
|1941||Benny Goodman with Helen Forrest||–|||
|1941||Benny Goodman with Peggy Lee||Mutual sustaining broadcast|||
|1934–38||Henry Hall and the BBC Orchestra||BBC broadcast|||
|1995||Engelbert Humperdinck||Love Unchained|||
|2004||Alison Jiear||Being Julia|||
|1992||Hannibal Lokumbe||Now's the Time|||
|1995||Glenn Miller||Missing Chapters, Vol. 5: The Complete Abbey Road|||
|1954||Thelonious Monk||Solo 1954|||
|1992||Archie Shepp||Black Ballads|||
|2004||Norma Winstone||It's Later Than You Think|||
- List of 1930s jazz standards
- List of number-one singles in Australia during the 1950s
- List of number-one singles from the 1950s (UK)
- List of Hot 100 number-one singles of 1959 (U.S.)
- List of number-one hits of 1959 (Italy)
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