Tea For Two

Album: No, No, Nanette (1924)
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Songfacts®:

  • Tea is the most popular beverage in Britain, and Americans drink coffee, so naturally this standard about Blighty's national drink was penned by... two Americans.

    "Tea For Two" was written for the comedy musical No, No, Nanette by composer Vincent Youmans and lyricist Irving Caesar. Unleashed on the world in 1924, it has been widely recorded including by Doris Day in the 1950 production Tea For Two. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England
  • In 1958, Tommy Dorsey hit #7 in the US with his instrumental adaptation "Tea For Two Cha Cha." Nino Tempo & April Stevens reached #56 with a more traditional version of the song in 1964.
  • According to the Glasgow Daily Record, when the Scottish serial killer Peter Manuel was executed on July 11, 1958, he walked calmly to the gallows to the strains of "Tea For Two," and was then hanged. His last words were, "Turn up the radio and I'll go quietly."
  • Vincent Youmans borrowed the song title from an 18th century phrase used by English street hawkers. They used to shout "Tea for Two" as a way of offering a pot of tea to potential customers for just tuppence. When Youmans presented his melody idea to Irving Caesar, the lyricist quickly jotted down some dummy words including "tea for two" as a starting point before coming up with a more intricate lyric. Youmans loved the mockup and convinced Caesar to keep it as it was just right for the melody.
  • "Tea For Two" became a popular tune in the Soviet Union after Boris Fomin arranged it for inclusion in his operetta "The Career of Pierpont Blake" and gave it the name "Tahiti Trot."
  • In 1927, the Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich won a 100-ruble wager after conductor Nikolai Malko bet him that he could not completely re-orchestrate "Tahiti Trot" from memory in under an hour. He won the money after completing it in around 45 minutes. It became his Op. 16.

Comments: 1

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn April 26th 1964, Nino Tempo and April Stevens' covered version of "Tea for Two" entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #78; three weeks later on May 17th, 1964 it would peak at #56 {for 1 week} and spent 5 weeks on the Top 100...
    The record's flip-side, "I'm Confessin' (That I Love You)", also charted, it stayed in the Top 100 for one week at position #99...
    Six years earlier on September 1st, 1958 Tommy Dorsey & his Orchestra’s "Tea for Two Cha-Cha" entered the Top 100 at #74, on November 3rd, 1958 it would peak at #7 {for 2 weeks} and stayed on the chart for 20 weeks.
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