They Didn’t Believe Me


They Didn’t Believe Me (m. Jerome Kern, w. Herbert Reynolds

From Parlor Songs:

Jerome Kern is one of America’s greatest songwriters and this song may well be his best. Without question it is one of his most enduring hits and one that has been sung by almost every singer of note, yes, including Judy Garland. It also happens to be his first hit song, presaging many years of outstanding songs. Starting in 1911, Kern had written several stage productions, all of which were not successful. In 1914 however, he hit paydirt with The Girl From Utah, an adaptation of an English operetta. He wrote eight songs for the production, three of which were limited successes by themselves. This one though was an unqualified masterpiece. On hearing it, the great Victor Herbert said, “this man will inherit my mantle.” (No humility there.) The song was a huge hit and was published in a number of different wrappers like this one shown here with a portrait as well as the original show version (above). The “cast” cover above, shows portraits of Julia Sanderson and below her, Donald Brian. They premiered the song in he original production. In the 1946 Kern film biography, Till The Clouds Roll By, it was sung by Dinah Shore. Mario Lanza and Kathryn Grayson sung it in the 1949 movie, That Midnight Kiss. [read more]



(above) An early photo of Jerome Kern, from the site 42nd Street Moon

Walter Van Brunt and Gladys Rice — recorded in 1915; issued in 1915 on Edison Blue Amberol 2759


Reed Miller and Grace Kerns — recorded on 15 March 1916; issued on the 10-inch single Columbia A1982, c/w “Kiss Me Again”


Donaldson & Rothery — 1916


Scrappy Lambert (1a-t85)red-nichols-1

Red Nichols and his Orchestra, vocal: Scrappy Lambert — recorded on 27 August 1929; issued on Brunswick 4651, c/w “Say It With Music”


Jeanette MacDonaldrecorded 16 April 1946


Mario Lanza and Kathryn Grayson in the MGM movie That Midnight Kiss (1949)


Leontyne Price — 1967


Fernando Pessoa — date unknown


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