It’s Time to Say Goodnight — 1934
It’s Time to Say Goodnight (m. Henry Hall, w. Kate Gibson) published in 1934
A comment on a YouTube video containing a 1950 Steve Conway recording of My Thanks To You (Newell, Gay) says:
After WW2 Radio Luxembourg used Steve’s ‘My Prayer At The End Of The Day’ to end the English transmission replacing Al Bowlly’s ‘It’s Time To Say Goodnight’ both lovely songs.
In the station’s history there were at least two subsequent instances of one of these two songs replacing the other as the closedown tune. First, in 1961 the Conway recording was replaced for a period lasting roughly two years by a new recording of “It’s Time to Say Goodnight” by Connie Francis.* Second, in the final moments of the Radio Luxembourg English service, due to an unexplained mix-up, Conway’s “At the End of the Day” was played as the parting song instead of the original Bowlly recording of “It’s Time to Say Goodnight” as had been planned and announced. The inadvertent switch is noted in the Wikipedia article’s summary of “The end”:
The end eventually came for 208 at 3 am GMT on 1 January 1992 (or 30 December 1991, depending on source), with the last record played on AM being Van Morrison’s “In the Days Before Rock and Roll” (chosen mainly because of its mention of the radio station), before “At the End of the Day” (one of their closedown songs) was played heading into the top of the hour (even though DJ Jeff Graham had said that they were going to play the original closedown tune, “It’s Time To Say Goodnight”).
The footnote leads to a brief exchange of comments at The Radio Luxembourg Forum in which it is agreed that the “wrong” closedown or sign-off song was played at the conclusion of the final broadcast. A few possible reasons for the switch are suggested in the exchange.
Ray Noble and his Orchestra, vocal: Al Bowlly — recorded on 16 February 1934 in London; issued in the UK as the B-side of “Have a Heart,” HMV B-6459, and on HMV EA-1347 in Australia
The B.B.C. Dance Orchestra, directed by Henry Hall, vocal: Les Allen — issued in 1934 on the 78 rpm single (UK) Columbia CB 716, b/w “In Town Tonight”
Maurice Winnick and his Orchestra — “Bedtime Medley” (“It’s Time To Say Goodnight,” “Let’s Put Out The Lights And Go To Sleep,” “Goodnight, I’ll See You In The Morning,” “Goodnight Sweetheart,” “The Sweetest Music This Side Of Heaven”) — recorded, according to the YouTube provider, on 5 November 1937; issued as the B-side of “The Sweetest Music This Side Of Heaven,” on (UK) Parlophone F 803
Bert Weedon and his Music For Dancing — issued in May 1959 on the 45 rpm single (UK) Top Rank 45-JAR 123, as the B-side of “Charmaine” (m. Erno Rapee, w. Lew Pollack), and on the 78 rpm single (UK) Top Rank JAR 123, b/w “Charmaine” — produced by Tony Hatch
- 30 second sample at Amazon.it (complete audio file not yet found)
Connie Francis — recorded at Abbey Road Studios in 1961*
The Wikipedia Connie Francis profile says,
From mid-1961 to mid-1963, Radio Luxembourg closed each day’s broadcasts with “It’s Time to Say Goodnight”, a song Francis had recorded especially for this purpose and which was never officially released until 1996.
- It’s Time to Say Goodnight — Connie Francis (MP3 audio file in a player at Stephan Konrad’s Radio Luxembourg 208 ©)
Bryan Smith and the Dixieland Seven — medley with “The Last Waltz,” from the LP An Invitation to Bryan Smith’s Party, Dansan Records DS 025, released in 1979
peter john — published on 6 October 2015
I may include other recordings of the song as I find them. The following artist released a recording of a song titled “It’s Time to Say Goodnight,” but it is uncertain whether the title represents the Henry Hall waltz.
- Max Bygraves — on the album Sing Along with Max, 1971
* After having displaced Bowlly’s recording of “It’s Time to Say Goodnight” sometime after WW2 as the regular closedown recording, Steve Conway’s “At the End of the Day” was itself supplanted for a while by a fresh cover of “It’s Time to Say Goodnight” recorded by Connie Francis at Abbey Road Studios in 1961. On a page of the Stephan Konrad website Radio Luxembourg 208 © containing a list of six closedown recordings used during various periods of the station’s history, with all but the Bowlly recording available for listening in an MP3 player at the top, he says the following with regard to the Connie Francis recording:
Due to [station manager] Geoffrey Everitt‘s Idea, this version replaced the Closedown-Song by Steve Conway. Read more about that in Alan Bailey’s book. (see below) I also have a long version of this song, an[d] a so called outtake in which Connie stops singing.
Sources and relevant links
- John Wright’s British Dance Band Show (at r2ok.co.uk)
- British Dance Band Show playlists
- Henry Hall — bandleader, composer biography (at jabw.demon.co.uk)
- The Al Bowlly Circle (at memorylane.org.uk)
- Radio Luxembourg (English) — Wikipedia article
- History of Radio Luxembourg and its English service (radioluxembourg.co.uk)
- The Great 208 ‘Radio Luxembourg’ A Brief History (radiosoundsfamiliar.com)
- Radio Luxembourg 208 © — Stephan Konrad