Blue Skies

Songfacts®:

  • This was written by Irving Berlin in 1926 as a last-minute song for the 1926 musical Betsy. Belle Baker introduced the song and on opening night the audience asked for 28 encores of it. At one point, Baker forgot the lyrics and Berlin, sitting in the front row, sang them to her.

    It reached the charts six times that year and became one of the first songs heard in a talking picture when Al Jolson sang it in The Jazz Singer in 1927. It charted in 1941 by Johnny Long, then again in 1946 by both Count Basie and Benny Goodman. Also in 1946, it was the title song of a movie starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Terry - Willmar, MN
  • This is an unequivocally happy song, with the gray skies turning blue for the singer because she has found love. Many songs of this ilk add some contrast or tension, but Irving Berlin kept it joyful, building from bluebirds to shining sun to nothing but blue skies from now on.
  • A standard, this song has been recorded by hundreds of singers, including Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Bing Crosby and Bobby Darin. It fell out of favor in the '70s until 1978, when Willie Nelson recorded it for his album of classical standards Stardust, taking it to #1 on the Country chart. The song has since been recorded by Diana Krall, Rod Stewart and Lyle Lovett.
  • A version by jazz singer Al Jarreau was used in the 1992 movie Glengarry Glen Ross, starring Kevin Spacey and Alec Baldwin, and also in Martin Scorsese's 2004 biopic of Howard Hughes, The Aviator.
  • Sharon van Etten recorded this for a 2015 Corona commercial titled "Ray Of Light."

Comments: 2

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn October 6th 1927, 'The Jazz Singer', starring Al Jolson, had its world premiere at the Warners' Theater in New York City; it was the first feature-length motion picture with synchronized dialogue sequences, but it was not a complete 'talkie', there were just 291 spoken words in the film...
    "Blue Skies" was composed by Irving Berlin in 1926; Al Jolson performed the song in the 'Jazz Singer'...
    On August 27th, 1978 Willie Nelson's covered version of "Blues Skies" peaked at #1* {for 1 week} on Billboard's Hot Country Singles chart; it also reached #1 on the Canadian RPM Country Singles chart...
    * Willie Nelson had two other #1 records on the Country Singles chart in 1978; "Georgia On My Mind" and "Mamas Don't Let Your Sons Grow Up to Be Cowboys" {a duet with Waylon Jennings}.
  • Tj from Chicago, IlGreat song. Really upbeat. Willy Nelson did a nice job of it.
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