The song was written by the composer and radio performer Peter De Rose in the early 1930s, and it became a standard when the lyricist Mitchell Parish added words to it in 1938. Parish was known for sweeping, romantic lyrics - some of his other compositions include "Stardust
" and "Sophisticated Lady" - and he turned the song into a touching ballad. The song was recorded by a number of orchestras, including those led by Artie Shaw, Paul Whiteman, Guy Lombardo and Larry Clinton. In 1939, it was a #1 hit for Larry McClinton and His orchestra.
Many popular vocalists also recorded it, including Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, and Sammy Davis Jr. In the rock era, the song charted first when Billy Ward & His Dominoes took it to #20 US in 1957 (their last crossover Top 40 hit). Tempo and Stevens had by far the biggest hit with the song, but Donny & Marie Osmond returned it to the charts in 1976 when their version hit #14 in the US.