Remember (aka “You Forgot to Remember”)

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Remember (Irving Berlin) aka “You Forgot to Remember”

According to The Complete Lyrics of Irving Berlin, eds. Robert Kimball and Linda Emmet (2001), p.228*, the song was registered for copyright in early 1925 under the titles “Remember” and “You Forgot to Remember.” The latter title was used more frequently for the earliest recordings. The tenors Franklyn Baur, Henry Burr, and John McCormack each recorded the song in 1925, as did Al Jolson and Cliff Edwards.

Jazz heavyweights such as Red Norvo, Ben Webster, Oscar Peterson, Thelonious Monk, Hank Mobley, and Ray Brown have periodically reinterpreted the song, usually under the title “Remember,” since the late 1930s. Their efforts and those of a number of major vocalists who recorded the song, particularly in the 1950s and 1960s, including Connee Boswell (1938), Billie Holiday (1952), Sarah Vaughan & Billy Eckstine (1957), Ella Fitzgerald (1958), Betty Carter (1960, 1969), Anita O’Day (1961), Frank Sinatra (1962, 1978), Connie Francis (1963), and Andy Williams (1966) have certainly each contributed to making “Remember” a standard.

1925 Remember (Irving Berlin)-1-d45Franklyn Baur (1)-40p-t40-d25

Seven of the following eight 1925 recordings bear the title “You Forgot to Remember.” Among them, only Cliff Edwards recorded the song as “Remember.”

Franklyn Baur — recorded on 12 August 1925 — issued on Harmony 16-H, c/w “Sometime” (Ted Fiorito, Gus Kahn) — This is the earliest recording I’ve found

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Henry Burr (2)

Henry Burr, with piano accompaniment by LeRoy Shield, and featuring saxophone obbligato by Rudy Wiedoeft — recorded on 14 September 1925, the 10th of 12 takes  —  issued as Victor 19780 A, b/w “Alone At Last” (Ted Fiorito, Gus Kahn)

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Victor Salon Orchestra, directed by Nathaniel Shilkret — recorded on 29 September 1925; issued as Victor 19802 A, b/w “June Brought the Roses”

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John McCormack 1

John  McCormack with orchestra directed by Nathaniel Shilkret (Victor’s house band) —  recorded by Victor in Camden, NJ on 14 October 1925   — The first of three takes became the master (Matrix BVE-33464). The single Victor 1121 (Red Seal), b/w “Oh, How I Miss You Tonight,” was also issued as Gramophone DA-760

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Two piano rolls:

Ampico # 206441 E piano roll played by Adam Carroll; released in October 1925

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WelteMignon # Y7192 piano roll played by Stuart Gregory; released in October 1925 — The provider suggests that “Stuart Gregory” may be a pseudonym for Howard Lutter

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Cliff Edwards 1

Cliff Edwards (Ukulele Ike) – recorded in NYC on 9 November 1925 — issued as “Remember” on Pathé Actuelle 25163, and on Perfect 11597, c/w “Someone’s Stolen My Sweet, Sweet Baby” in each case

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Jesse Crawford — organ solo, recorded on either 11 December 1925 or 6 December 1925; issued on Victor 19906, as the B-side of “Sleepy Time Gal”

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1925 You Forgot to Remember-Al Jolson, Brunswick 3013-B

Al Jolson with Carl Fenton’s Orchestra — recorded on 21 December 1925; issued as Brunswick 3013-B, the flip-side of “Miami”

“You Forgot to Remember” begins at about 2:26 in the video below

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1937 Remember (Irving Berlin)-Red Norvo & Orch.-Brunswick 7896

Red Norvo and his Orchestra — recorded on 22 March 1937; issued on Brunswick 7896, c/w “Jiving the Jeep”

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Billie Holiday and Louis McKay, April 1951 (2)

Billie Holiday and her Orchestra — recorded on 1 April 1952 at Radio Recorders studio in Los Angeles; issued as “(You Forgot To) Remember” on the single Clef 89096, b/w  “I Can’t Face the Music,” and on the 1952 album A Recital by Billie Holiday, Clef MGC 686

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Ella Fitzgerald — issued as “Remember” on the 1958 album Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Irving Berlin SongbookVerve Records ‎MGV 4019-2, and MG VS-6005-2

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Thelonious Monk — from the 1959 LP Thelonious Alone in San Francisco, Riverside Records ‎RLP 12-312, recorded at Fugazi Hall in San Francisco, California on 21 and 22 October 1959

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Hank Mobley —  recorded at Rudy Van Gelder Studios, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on 7 February 1960. Hank Mobley (tenor saxophone); Wynton Kelly (piano); Paul Chambers (bass); Art Blakey (drums) — released on the 1960 LP Soul Station, Blue Note BLP 4031

  • Hank Mobley – tenor saxophone
  • Wynton Kelly – piano
  • Paul Chambers – bass
  • Art Blakey – drums

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Frank Sinatra — recorded on 16 January 1962 in Los Angeles (Reprise); arranger: Gordon Jenkins

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Andy Williams — from the 1966 album In the Arms of Love (Columbia)

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1967 Big Ben Time-Ben Webster Quartet-Fontana FJL316 (1)

Ben Webster Quartet — from the 1967 album Big Ben Time!, Fontana ‎FJL316, recorded in London, 11-12 January 1967

  • Ben Webster – tenor saxophone
  • Alan Haven – organ
  • Dick Katz – piano
  • Spike Heatley – bass
  • Tony Crombie – drums

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Beegie Adair — from the 2006 LP Cheek to Cheek: The Romantic Songs of Irving Berlin (Green Hill Productions)

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Some helpful links:

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* Complete Lyrics, p. 228, claims that Jean Goldkette and His Orchestra had the “first recording to become popular.” This is probably incorrect. Goldkette did record a song titled “Remember” on 24 November 1924 (issued on Victor 19548), but it was a different song, written by Buddy Fields and Seymour Simons. I’ve not found any evidence to support the claim that Goldkette recorded Berlin’s “You Forgot to Remember.” However, the organist Jesse Crawford, who recorded the song in December 1925 (see above) recorded a couple of other songs with Jean Goldkette’s Book-Cadillac Hotel Orchestra, in October of 1926.

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