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”. – Wikipedia


Louis Armstrong – 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 — New York, 4 May, 1930.


Ruth Etting – Ms. Etting was the first to chart with the song, reaching #11 with this recording. Other recordings to chart in 1930 were those by Harry Richman, and by Sam Lanin & his Orchestra – jazzstandards.com (Haven’t found these yet.)


Radio Rhythm Boys – The youtube provider wonders whether the credited band is a pseudonym for Harry Hudson. This appears to be correct. I began hunting for information on Hudson and discovered a track from 1931 named Making Wicky-Wacky which is credited to Al Bowlly and Harry Hudson’s Radio Rhythm Boys (at weimerrundfunk.com). The site Big Bands Database Plus [link failed on 18 Feb 2014] provides the following information on Hudson.

d. July 27, 1969
Harry didn’t have an orchestra of his own. His was one of the “Studio” orchestras active all through the 1930’s.

Active with the Edison Bell’s Radio Label. Line-up often included such sidemen as: Sylvester Ahola, Lew Davis, Sid Phillips and George Melachrino Some of his re-issued recordings are under pseudoyms of The Blue Jays; The Radio Rhythm Boys, and the Deauville Dance Band.

Among the other songs that Hudson recorded were:
“Swing On The Gait” – Harry Hudson’s Melody Men
“It’s A Million To One You’re In Love” – Harry Hudson’s Melody Men
“What’ll You Do?” – Harry Hudson Melody Men
“Make My Cot Where The Cot-cot-cotton Grows” – Harry Hudson’s Melody Men
“How Long Has This Been Going On?” – Harry Hudson’s Melody Men (composers: George & Ira Gershwin)
“Miss Annabelle Lee” – Harry Hudson’s Melody Men



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



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)



Svend Asmussen



Martha Tilton with Carl Kresstette and  his Orchestra — recorded 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.

From the allaboutjazz.com review by C. Michael Bailey:

Live In Rio…captures Krall and her long time band of bassist John Clayton, guitarist Anthony Wilson and drummer Jeff Hamilton, augmented by percussionist Paulinho DaCosta, performing at the Vivo Rio in Rio De Janeiro in November 2008. The performance was also supported by the Rio De Janeiro Orchestra under the direction of Ruria Duprat.


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