Exactly Like You


From the Jimmy McHugh biography at songwritershalloffame.org

Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields-1aIn 1927 one of McHugh’s most important professional relationships began when he met lyricist Dorothy Fields. They began writing together and in 1928 they had [their] first big hit with the enduringly popular “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love, Baby”, written far the all-black Broadway revue Blackbirds of 1928. Other songs written by them for this show were “Digga Digga Do” and “I Must Have That Man”.

In 1930 they wrote another favorite, “On the Sunny Side of the Street”, for Lew Leslie’s International Revue. From this show came also the hit and future standard Exactly Like You. For The Vanderbilt Revue, also in 1930, they wrote “Blue Again”. For a 1932 Chicago Revue called Clowns in Clover, Fields and McHugh wrote “Don’t Blame Me” [ranked #38 of the top 1,000 standards by jazzstandards.com]. [minor edits in this paragraph]

The team then moved to Hollywood where they worked on the films Love in the (1930), Singin’ the Blues (1931), Cuban Love Song (193 1), Dinner at Eight (1933) and Clowns in Clover (1933). For the 1935 film Every Night at Eight, they wrote “I Feel a Song Comin’ On” and “I’m In the Mood For Love”.

Following the success of the 1935 films, McHugh and Fields co-wrote a new lyric based on an existing Oscar Hammerstein lyric for Jerome Kern’s “I Won’t Dance”. In the years that followed, Fields would work primarily with Kern, and McHugh found a new primary lyricist to colloborate with: Harold Adamson. For the 1937 film Top of the Town, McHugh and Adamson wrote “Where Are You?” and then in 1937, they wrote the title song for a film called “You’re A Sweetheart”.

Other biographies



Exactly Like You (Jimmy McHugh, Dorothy Fields) was introduced by Harry Richman and Gertrude Lawrence in the 1930 Broadway show Lew Leslie’s International Revue which also featured McHugh and Fields’s “On the Sunny Side of the Street.”

Harry Richman — recorded on 30 March 1930; issued on the 78 rpm single Brunswick 4747, b/w “On the Sunny Side of the Street”


Louis Armstrong and his Orchestra — recorded in New York City on 4 May 1930; issued on the 78 rpm single OKeh 41423, b/w “Indian Cradle Song”

personnel: Louis Armstrong, t, v / Ed Anderson, t / Henry Hicks, tb / Bobby Holmes, cl, as / Theodore McCord, as / Castor McCord, cl, ts / Joe Turner, Buck Washington, p/ Bernard Addison, g / Lavert Hutchinson, bb / Willie Lynch, d


Ruth Etting – issued in 1930 on the 78 rpm single Columbia 2999-D, as the B-side of “It Happened in Monterey”


Elsie Carlisle with orchestra under the direction of Jay Wilbur — recorded in London, c. mid-August 1930; issued on (UK) Imperial 2318

take 1


take 2


Sam Lanin’s Dance Orchestra . vocal by Buddy Blue (Smith Ballew) — recorded on 30 April 1930; issued in 1930 on (US) Perfect 15313, and in the UK (30 September 1930) on Imperial 2310, b/w a recording of “On the Sunny Side of the Street” by the Clicquot Club Eskimos in each case; also issued in the US on Oriole 1946 and Banner 688, in each case c/w “Tell Me You Care” by the Imperial Dance Orchestra (Adrian Schubert)


Benny Goodman Trio — featuring the first vocal by vibraphonist/drummer Lionel Hampton — 1936


Django Reinhardt, Stéphane Grappeli and the Quintet du Hot Club de France recorded “Exactly Like You” twice in 1937,  in April and May, according to djangopedia.com. However, there is also the following recording by the QHCF under the title Pour Vous, dated 13 December 1940.

Django Reinhardt et le Quintette du Hot Club de France –
Hubert Rostaing (cl);
Alix Combelle (cl, ts & chimes);
Django Reinhardt (g solo);
Joseph Reinhardt (g);
Tony Rovira (b);
Pierre Fouad (dm)


Martha Tilton with Carl Kresstette and  his Orchestra — recorded on 16 October 1946 (unreleased)


Diana Krall – from the DVD Diana Krall: Live in Rio which was recorded in November 2008 during her tour in support of the Quiet Nights album.


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