Always

Album: Great American Composers (1925)

Songfacts®:

  • According to Arnold Shaw in The Jazz Age: Popular Music in the 1920's, the standard "Always" was written by Irving Berlin around 1924-6 for his future wife. Berlin met heiress Ellin Mackay who was some fifteen years his junior in 1925; they married the following year - she was his second wife. Berlin actually assigned the rights of the song to her; years later she published four novels. The marriage was ended by her death in 1988; he died the following year aged one hundred. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England
  • Only black keys on the piano are used to play this song.
  • This was one of the last songs Patsy Cline recorded before her death in a 1963 plane crash. Almost two decades later, it was included on Always, a collection of Cline's music of the '60s, and reached #18 on the country chart. The single was controversially overdubbed with background vocals and featured modern musicians.
  • Bandleaders Vincent Lopez and George Olsen both released #1 versions of this in 1926. The 1940s saw recordings from Guy Lombardo, Deanna Durbin (as sung in the 1944 movie Christmas Holiday) and Frank Sinatra (included on his 1950 album Dedicated To You).

    A range of other artists recorded this, including Ella Fitzgerald (for her Grammy Award-winning 1958 album Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Irving Berlin Songbook), Billie Holiday, Peggy Lee, Bing Crosby, Leonard Cohen, Billy Corgan, Phil Collins, and Paul McCartney.
  • Diana Ross and the Supremes performed this as part of a medley of Berlin songs on The Ed Sullivan Show to celebrate the composer's birthday.
  • This is featured throughout the 1942 Lou Gehrig biopic The Pride of the Yankees, starring Gary Cooper and Teresa Wright. During a nightclub scene, it's played by Ray Noble and His Orchestra and sung by Bettye Avery.
  • Tony Bennett's version is used in the 1994 romantic comedy It Could Happen To You, starring Nicolas Cage and Bridget Fonda.

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