It's Been a Long, Long Time

Album: All the Number-One Hits (1945)
Charted: 1

Songfacts®:

  • This Jule Styne/Sammy Cahn composition was a major hit at the end of World War II. Cahn's lyrics were written from the perspective of a person welcoming home their loved one at the end of the war.
  • In the 1940s it was standard practice in the record industry for labels to release "competing" versions of hit songs. In this instance rival recordings by Harry James with a vocal by Kitty Kallen and Bing Crosby accompanied by The Les Paul Trio both found themselves working their way up the chart. And in a rare instance of competing covers of chart toppers also become chart toppers, the Bing Crosby version replaced the James' version at #1 on December 8, 1945.
  • Crosby's version features some memorable guitar by Les Paul, who recalled in an interview printed in Mojo magazine November 2009: "Bing was a sucker for guitar and that particular song was a case of you don't have to play a lot of notes, you just have to play the right notes."
  • Other artists who have recorded this song include Guy Mitchell, Sammy Kaye, The Inkspots, Brook Benton, Rosemary Clooney, Perry Como and Chet Atkins.

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