The End of a Love Affair

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The End of a Love Affair (Edward C. Redding) — published in 1950

recording history:

lyric:

  • International Lyrics Playground – chorus only
  • Reading Lyrics — book, eds. Robert Gottlieb, Robert Kimball, 2000 —  complete lyric, including the “interlude,” which, when used, has sometimes been sung as an opening verse

Standard of the Day says,

This somber and smokey tune of love and loss was practically written for the saloon. Jimmy Dorsey’s orchestra introduced it, but it was quickly snatched up by a number of different artists during the 1950s.

In a 10 April 2014 comment, visitor Daniel Fitzgerald suggests that a 1951 recording by Margaret Whiting might have been the first recording of the song, and notes that it contains the full verse, about which he comments, “I’ve never heard or seen any reference to the verse before.” Second Hand Songs recognizes the Whiting recording as the first released recording of the song, and it does in fact include a verse section in the beginning, but there are at least a couple of other early recordings in which the same introductory verse is used. However, in the book Reading Lyrics (see link above) by eds. Robert Gottlieb, Robert Kimball, published in 2000, this section of the lyric is placed after the refrain, or chorus, and is labelled an “interlude.”

Of the recordings featured below, the complete introductory verse is sung in the following instances, while in his 1961 version Nat King Cole sings a modified portion of it.

  • 1951 — Margaret Whiting
  • 1953 — Mabel Mercer
  • 1959 — Chris Connor

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Margaret Whiting with Orchestra directed by Lou Busch —  issued on Capitol 1585, c/w “Everlasting” — The discography at MargaretWhiting.com indicates that it was recorded at Session #2164, in Los Angeles on 9 May 1951.

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Dinah Shore with Henri René and his Orchestra — B-side of “Getting to Know You,” RCA Victor ‎47-4286, according to 45cat.com, issued in October 1951, although Discogs.com has “The End of a Love Affair” as the A-side

.

I’ve been unable to properly identify the following Jimmy Dorsey recording, which sounds like it might be a live radio broadcast transcription, so I’ll just provide a link to the video for now. I don’t know who the female vocalist is, and haven’t found her identified anywhere, though she’s so good that I feel I ought to know this voice.

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Mabel Mercer — from her 1953 album Songs by Mabel Mercer, Atlantic ALS 402 — Mercer’s recording includes the verse

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Helen Merrill — from the 1955 LP Helen Merrill With Strings, EmArcy ‎MG-36057 — orchestration by Richard Hayman

  • Barry Galbraith – guitar
  • Hank Jones – piano
  • Milt Hinton – bass
  • Sol Gubin –  drums

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 Frank Sinatra with The Hollywood String Quartet —  recorded on 5 April 1956, with arrangement by Nelson Riddle; released on the 1956 album Close to You

.

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Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers — recorded in NY on 5 April 1956, the same day as the Sinatra recording with Riddle; released on Columbia CL 897

Donald Byrd: trumpet
Hank Mobley: tenor Sax
Horace Silver: piano
Doug Watkins: bass
Art Blakey: drums

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Cyril Stapleton and his Orchestra — from the 1956 LP Dim Lights and Blue Music, MGM Records E3351

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Billy Holiday, Lady in Satin Session-1958-02-19 (5)-d15

Billie Holiday – Session #86 New York 20 February 1958 Ray Ellis and his Orchestra (Columbia) — Urbie Green, Tom Mitchell & J. J. Johnson (tb) Ed Powell, Tom Pashley, Romeo Penque, Phil Bodner (sax) Mal Waldron (p) Barry Galbraith (g) Milt Hinton (b) Don Lamond (d) Billie Holiday (v) Brad Spinney(xyl) J. Putman (harp) + strings and choir, released on the album Lady in Satin, June 1958

.

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1959 Chris Connor Sings Ballads of the Sad Cafe, Atlantic SD 1307

Chris Connor — from the 1959 LP Sings Ballads of the Sad Cafe, Atlantic SD 1307, Atlantic 1307

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Wes Montgomery Trio — recorded 6 October 1959 at Reeves Sound Studios in NYC; released on the 1959 LP The Wes Montgomery Trio, Riverside Records RLP 12-310,

Wes Montgomery: guitar
Mel Rhyne: organ
Paul Parker: drums

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Dexter Gordon -  Recorded 9 May 1961 — Dexter Gordon (tenor saxophone); Kenny Drew (piano); Paul Chambers (bass); Philly Joe Jones (drums) – album: Dexter Calling…, 1961

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Maysa — from Maysa Sings Songs Before Dawn, released in 1961

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Nat King Cole with orchestra conducted by Gordon Jenkins — from the 1963 album Where Did Everyone Go?, Capitol W 1859* (Mono), Capitol SW 1859 (Stereo); album recorded on 13-14 August 1962; arrangements by Gordon Jenkins — Cole sings a small portion of the verse, with the words modified.

For some reason this recording evidently appeared as one of three bonus tracks on the CD reissue of the 1957 Cole album Love Is the Thing, which led me to mistakenly believe that it had been recorded in 1956 during the sessions for that album.** This why I had previously placed it ahead of the Billie Holiday recording in the page.

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julie-london-63-love-on-the-rocks-t90

Julie London — from her 1963 LP Love On the Rocks, Liberty ‎LST 7249

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Gloria Lynne – from I Wish You Love, 1967

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Jimmy Raney – recorded 2 September 1975According to the video provider the track was added to the original material when the CD of Raney’s 1976 album Solo was issue, in 1991.  But this track and another on the 1991 reissue, Suzanne, originally appeared on Raney’s debut record for Xanadu, The Influence, released in 1975.

Presently unavailable

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The Real Deal Big Band — date unknown

The provider says, “…arranged by Willy Dalton–solos by Willy on guitar and Mike DiLorenzo on organ–band members included Vince Cherico, drums, and Irio O’Farrill, bass.”

Version #1

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Version #2

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* Discogs.com indicates that the catalog number of the Mono version has been variously issued as Capitol W1859, Capitol W 1859, and Capitol W-1859.

** Typically bonus tracks in reissues stem from the same sessions as the original tracks, but that wasn’t the case here. I hadn’t recognized that a. it wasn’t on the original album, Love Is the Thing, b. it wasn’t recorded during the two December 1956 sessions with Jenkins from which Love Is the Thing tracks were drawn, and c. it was, rather, a bonus track on a 1996 CD reissue of the album.

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Pag
    Dec 05, 2013 @ 23:20:58

    Hi. Julie London also sang it in 1963.

    Thanks for the investigation.

    Reply

  2. Daniel Fitzgerald
    Apr 10, 2014 @ 02:22:08

    Hello, I LOVE this song too & there is a SUPERB unique early version that you may still be unaware of? Margaret Whiting with Lou Busch Orchestra c1950-51 issued over here in the UK on a Capitol 78 number CL-13581 in the summer of 1951, so this could be the first recording.

    It has a superb full arrangement AND includes the full verse – a lot of letters to various agony aunts starting ‘Dear Emily Post etc’ & spilling her heart out kind-a-thing, – & I’ve never heard or seen any reference to the verse before.

    Its not on youtube yet so I’ll record it & stick it on youtube later today for you.

    PS: Theres a great also a 1955 orchestral version by Cyril Stapleton & his Orchestra, very pretty. But that is on youtube.

    Reply

    • doc
      Apr 10, 2014 @ 11:58:49

      Daniel,
      Thanks much. I appreciate your assistance. Have added the Cyril Stapleton recording and look forward to your Margaret Whiting video, especially with the verse (unknown to me as well) included. I discovered today that International Lyrics Playground has a long list of artists who have recorded the song. May use this if I decide to expand the page.

      Warm regards, doc

      Reply

      • doc
        Jun 12, 2014 @ 21:11:54

        Today, I found that, contrary to what I had earlier reported, Second Hand Songs does indeed have a list of recordings of “The End of a Love Affair.” Might have missed it, or it might have been added after I published my page on the song in March 2011. That’s a while ago. Anyway, they presently have 36 recordings documented, with videos included for several of them.

  3. Daniel Fitzgerald
    Jun 10, 2014 @ 08:35:02

    Hello, sorry its been a while, I recorded the song on my phone ages ago BUT can’t bloody download it to my MacBook, any suggestions?

    Reply

    • doc
      Jun 12, 2014 @ 21:07:38

      Daniel,
      Hi. I’ve never used MacBook. I’m sure there’s a lot of free software available for converting file formats, if that is the issue, but I’m not informed in that realm. Will let you know if I find an audio file of a Margaret Whiting c. 1951 recording, Capitol 1585, c/w “Everlasting.”

      Reply

  4. doc
    Aug 04, 2014 @ 21:20:49

    @ Daniel,
    I’ve recently added recordings by Margaret Whiting (1951), Dinah Shore (1951), Mabel Mercer (1953), Helen Merrill (1955), and Maysa (1961) to the page, and corrected the date of the Nat King Cole recording.

    Reply

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