I’ll Never Be the Same


I’ll Never Be the Same (m. Frank Signorelli, Matty Malneck, w. Gus Kahn)

Eddie Lang performs with Gibson guitar, c.1928 in Chicago, Illinois“I’ll Never Be the Same” was adapted from an instrumental written by Frank Signorelli titled “Little Buttercup.” According to the Eddie Lang 1927-1932 issue of The Chronological Classics series, Lang recorded the number, accompanied by Signorelli on piano, at Okeh studios in New York on 27 September 1928.

The next recording of “Little Buttercup”  that I’m aware of is that by Joe Venuti’s Blue Four, during a 10 June 1931 Okeh session. In 1932, Gus Kahn wrote a lyric for the tune and the resultant song was titled “I’ll Never Be the Same.” 1932 recordings of “I’ll Never Be the Same” include those made by Ruth Etting, Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians (vocal: Carmen Lombardo), and Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra (vocal: Mildred Bailey).

Accounts disagree as to what part Matty Malneck played in the writing of the song. The Red Hot Jazz Archive and Second Hand Songs indicate that Signorelli alone wrote the original instrumental, “Little Buttercup,” while the latter site credits Matty Malneck and Gus Kahn together for the 1932 adaptation “I’ll Never Be the Same.” However, JazzStandards.com, Arthur Jackson, in a Malneck biography published at the Robert Farnon Society website, and others claim that Malneck co-wrote “Little Buttercup” with Signorelli.

Eddie Lang — guitar solo, accompanied by Frank Signorelli, piano — recorded, presumably as “Little Buttercup,” for Okeh Records on 27 September 1928, but apparently unreleased by Okeh. According to the Eddie Lang page at the Red Hot Jazz Archive, it was released on Parlophone R-1778. The Global Dog Productions 78 discography for the Parlophone Records (UK) 1000 series confirms that it was issued, under the title “I’ll Never Be the Same” and coupled with “Add a Little Wiggle,” on catalog number R-1778, but provides no clue as to the release date. Second Hand Songs says it was released c. 1934, which would help to explain the title change.


Tommy Rockwell (OKeh head of ops.), Eddie Lang, Frank Trumbauer, Joe Venuti, 1929

(above, l. to r.) Tommy Rockwell (head of operations at Okeh Records), Eddie Lang, Frank Trumbauer, and Joe Venuti, 1929

Joe Venuti’s Blue Four — recorded as “Little Buttercup” on 10 June 1931, New York; issued on Okeh 41506 as the B-side of “Pardon Me Pretty Baby”



Recordings under the new title, I’ll Never Be the Same, following the 1932 adoption of a lyric written by Gus Kahn:

Ruth Etting — recorded on 26 July 1932; issued as Conqueror 7997-B, the flip side of “It Was So Beautiful”


Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians, vocal: Carmen Lombardo — recorded on 27 July 1932; issued as the A-side of Brunswick 6350, b/w “We Just Couldn’t Say Good-bye” (Harry Woods)


Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra, vocal: Mildred Bailey — recorded on 11 August 1932; issued as Victor 24088-A, b/w “We Just Couldn’t Say Goodbye” (Harry Woods)



Lew Stone & the Monseigneur Band, vocal: Al Bowlly — recorded on 2 December 1932, and issued on Decca (UK) F-3314


Billie Holiday, April 1937, Apollo with Count Basie

Teddy Wilson and his Orchestra, vocal: Billie Holiday — recorded on 1 June 1937; issued on Brunswick 7926, b/w “I’ve Found a New Baby”

Personnel: Buck Clayton (tp) Buster Bailey (cl) Lester Young (ts) Teddy Wilson (p) Freddie Green (g) Walter Page (b) Jo Jones (d) Billie Holiday (v)



Ziggy Ellman and his Orchestra —  recorded on 8 June 1939; issued on Bluebird 10342, c/w “Let’s Fall in Love”



Buddy Clark with Mitchell Ayres and his Orchestra — from the 1948 LP For You Alone, Columbia CL 6007 (10″, Mono)

Video presently unavailable


Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli — recorded at RAI Studios in Rome, January or February 1949

Django Reinhardt (g)
Stéphane Grappelli* (vln)
Gianni Safred (p)
Marco Pecori (b)
Aurelio de Carolis (dm)


Nat King Cole — from his debut studio album King Cole At the Piano, all tracks recorded on 13 August 1947 — The album was released in 1949 as Capitol Records CC 135, a set of four 78 rpm discs, and reissued in 1950 as the 10″ LP H-156.

King Cole Trio:

  • Nat King Cole – piano, arranger
  • Oscar Moore – guitar
  • Johnny Miller – bass


Lee Morgan — recorded on 28 April 1967, at Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ; this was the second of two sessions the results of which were finally released in 1979 on the Blue Note album Sonic Boom, LT 987

  • Lee Morgan – trumpet
  • David Newman – tenor saxophone
  • Cedar Walton – piano
  • Ron Carter – bass
  • Billy Higgins – drums


Joe Venuti and George Barnes — from their 1975 album Gems, Concord Jazz CJ-14


* credited as “Stephane Grappelly”

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