Heart and Soul

Album: single release (1939)
Charted: 1

Songfacts®:

  • Bandleader Hoagy Carmichael, who composed the Big Band standard "Stardust" in 1927, and up-and-coming lyricist Frank Loesser ("Baby It's Cold Outside") were both under contract with Paramount Pictures when they wrote the ballad "Heart and Soul" in 1938. Larry Clinton, a trumpeter just beginning his tenure as an orchestra leader, introduced the tune in the short film A Song Is Born and landed a #1 hit when he enlisted teen singer Bea Wain to sing the lovestruck lyrics.
  • The Cleftones recorded an R&B version in 1961 and had the biggest hit of their career. It reached #18 on the pop chart and #10 on the R&B chart and was later used in the 1973 movie American Graffiti. Fifteen-year-old Duane Hitchings, who went on to win a Grammy award for his work on the Flashdance soundtrack in 1984, played keyboards on the track. In an interview with Rock United, he recalls that the recording session was cut short when singer Pat Spann, who was dating drummer Panama Francis, was caught in a compromising position with the bass guitarist. "That ended the session. So the last track we recorded was the record," he said.
  • Rock duo Jan and Dean landed a deal with Liberty Records on the strength of their version, which reached #25 while the Cleftones' hit was still on the charts.
  • Noted for its bouncy melody, this is a popular stand among piano players and is often used to teach students.
  • In an iconic '80s movie moment, Robert Loggia and Tom Hanks play a duet of "Heart and Soul" and "Chopsticks" on a huge foot-operated electronic keyboard in Big.
  • Train borrowed the melody for their 2016 song "Play That Song."
  • This shows up as a piano duet on several TV shows, including the 1998 Ally McBeal episode "Cro-Magnon" with Calista Flockhart and Michael Easton; the 2005 Lost episode "Do No Harm" with Matthew Fox and Julie Bowen; and the 2016 Lucifer episode "A Priest Walks Into A Bar" with Lauren German and Tom Ellis. Jane Leeves and David Hyde Pierce also sing it while chopping vegetables in the 1998 Frasier episode "First Date."

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