I’ll Never Be the Same (m. Frank Signorelli, Matty Malneck, w. Gus Kahn)
“I’ll Never Be the Same” was adapted from an instrumental written by Frank Signorelli titled “Little Buttercup.” According to the Eddie Lang 1927-1932 issue of The Chronological Classics series, Lang recorded the number, accompanied by Signorelli on piano, at Okeh studios in New York on 27 September 1928. The next recording of “Little Buttercup” I’m aware of is that by Joe Venuti’s Blue Four, during a 10 June 1931 Okeh session. In 1932, Gus Kahn wrote a lyric for the tune and the resultant song was titled “I’ll Never Be the Same.” 1932 recordings of “I’ll Never Be the Same” include those made by Ruth Etting, Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians (vocal: Carmen Lombardo), and Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra (vocal: Mildred Bailey).
Accounts disagree as to what part Matty Malneck played in the writing of the song. The Red Hot Jazz Archive and Second Hand Songs indicate that Signorelli alone wrote the original instrumental, “Little Buttercup,” while the latter site credits Matty Malneck and Gus Kahn together for the 1932 adaptation “I’ll Never Be the Same.” However, JazzStandards.com, Arthur Jackson, in a Malneck biography published at the Robert Farnon Society website, and others claim that Malneck co-wrote “Little Buttercup” with Signorelli.
Eddie Lang — guitar solo, accompanied by Frank Signorelli, piano — recorded, presumably as “Little Buttercup,” for Okeh Records on 27 September 1928, but apparently unreleased by Okeh. According to the Eddie Lang page at the Red Hot Jazz Archive, it was released on Parlophone R-1778. The Global Dog Productions 78 discography for the Parlophone Records (UK) 1000 series confirms that it was issued, under the title “I’ll Never Be the Same” and coupled with “Add a Little Wiggle,” on catalog number R-1778, but provides no clue as to the release date. Second Hand Songs says it was released c. 1934, which would explain the title change.
(above, l. to r.) Tommy Rockwell (head of operations at Okeh Records), Eddie Lang, Frank Trumbauer, and Joe Venuti, 1929
Joe Venuti’s Blue Four — recorded as “Little Buttercup” on 10 June 1931, New York; issued on Okeh 41506 as the B-side of “Pardon Me Pretty Baby”
Recordings under the new title, I’ll Never Be the Same, following the 1932 adoption of a lyric written by Gus Kahn:
Ruth Etting — recorded on 26 July 1932; issued as Conqueror 7997-B, the flip side of “It Was So Beautiful”
Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians, vocal: Carmen Lombardo — recorded on 27 July 1932; issued as the A-side of Brunswick 6350, b/w “We Just Couldn’t Say Good-bye” (Harry Woods)
Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra, vocal: Mildred Bailey — recorded on 11 August 1932; issued as Victor 24088-A, b/w “We Just Couldn’t Say Goodbye” (Harry Woods)