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Best rendition of "Always" - Choose up to two selections...

  • Tony Bennett

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Marvin Gaye

    Votes: 0 0.0%

The Showtunes Sing-Off - Irving Berlin - "Always" - Part 1 of 2

1498 Views 30 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Dimace
Irving Berlin | American composer | Britannica

Irving Berlin - "Always"

""Always" is a song written by Irving Berlin in 1925, as a wedding gift for his wife Ellin Mackay whom he married in 1926, and to whom he presented the substantial royalties.

Although legend (and Groucho Marx) claims Berlin wrote the song "Always" for The Cocoanuts he never meant for the song to be included in that musical, and it was not. Thematically, it serves as a sequel to Berlin's earlier song "When I Lost You" which pertained to the death of his first wife Dorothy.

The song entered into the public domain on January 1, 2021."


Everything went wrong,
And the whole day long
I'd feel so blue.
For the longest while
I'd forget to smile,
Then I met you.
Now that my blue days have passed,
Now that I've found you at last -

I'll be loving you Always
With a love that's true Always.
When the things you've planned
Need a helping hand,
I will understand Always.


Days may not be fair Always,
That's when I'll be there Always.
Not for just an hour,
Not for just a day,
Not for just a year,
But Always.

Note: This is a two-part contest

Part One - Tony Bennett - Billy Eckstine and Sarah Vaughn - Marvin Gaye - Billie Holiday - Frank Sinatra (1947)

Part Two - Bobby Darin - Ella Fitzgerald - Mandy Patinkin - Frank Sinatra (1961) - Kiri Te Kanawa

Tony Bennett

Billy Eckstine and Sarah Vaughn

Marvin Gaye

Billie Holiday

Frank Sinatra - (1947)
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Before I listen and vote, once again I'd like to digress and ask a question.

When I was young this kind of music was not 'cool' with my friends. I always watched and loved the musicals they used to show on the TV. The first inkling I had that these were 'cool' songs, was finding covers by Motown artists and other black artists like Aretha. At that stage Rock and Rollers wouldn't touch them with a barge pole. At the time the link seemed pretty obvious to me; Motown songs were just so well written. Strong melodies and well crafted lyrics. Proper songs like "the classics".

Since then I've also wondered if Berry Gordon made his artists cover these to expand their market? Does anyone know if that was the case?

Either way I still think that e.g. the best of Smokey Robinson, stands alongside the standards in the Great American Songbook.

PS Thanks for including the Marvin Gaye cover - it prompted these recollections and I really look forward to hearing it.
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Just a gorgeous song. One of those you've absorbed internally since before you could even sing and it comes as a shock to discover the fact that someone, not anon., actually wrote it!

Tony Bennett - I want to say that the night I saw him at the ROH when he got to the part where he always said
"This is where the band demand a break and so why would I need a mic, when I started before they were a thing?" ...he sang "Always". (but my memory is shocking and it's probably just wish fulfilment). I'd prefer that versions to this.
Would I have guessed that was Marvin? I'd have agreed I'd heard the voice and its style before but no, I'd never have guessed. But hearing it once is probably enough.
Seems to me the smaller the group the more I love Lady Day.
Normally I prefer the slightly later Frank, but does a lovely job and comes close.

Sarah and Billy. I have this and now I'm off to find the CD. Truly gorgeous. 1 vote.
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I don't have that Vaughan/Eckstine album, but I have a Verve Records Berlin compilation disc, which has several tracks by them. They do a very nice job with "You're Just in Love," barring one sour note by Eckstine.
You don't need analyzing...:p
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