As Long as I Live


page originally published on 11 January 2013; latest edit: 5 March 2021


1934-As Long as I Live-Cotton Club Parade (24th Ed.)-11934-As Long as I Live-Cotton Club Parade (24th Ed.)-2

As Long as I Live (m. Harold Arlen, w. Ted Koehler)

As Long as I Live was written for the 24th Edition of the Cotton Club Parade, the last on which the songwriting team of Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler worked. The show opened on 23 March 1934. The song was introduced by Avon Long and Lena Horne. Another Arlen-Koehler jazz standard, Ill Wind, was also introduced in this show.


I believe the album cited by the provider of the following video, Composers at Play : Harold Arlen and Cole Porter Sing Their Own Compositions, incorrectly attributes the band, but not the vocalist, of the recording. In fact there is no band. This is Harold Arlen singing, accompanied by Arthur Schutt on piano. Arlen did make another recording of the song as a vocalist, on 28 February 1934, with Eddy Duchin and his Orchestra, but I’ve not yet found any evidence to support the information provided in the album’s track listing suggesting that Arlen recorded the song with Leo Reisman. Reisman recorded the song, but when he did so the vocalist was not Harold Arlen (see further below).

Harold Arlen, vocal; accompanied by Arthur Schutt on piano — recorded on 6 February 1934; issued on Victor 24569, c/w “Ill Wind”


Eddy Duchin and his Orchestra, vocal: Harold Arlen — recorded on 28 February 1934; issued on Victor 24579, as the B-side of “Ill Wind”

audio file, VBR MP3 (2.2 MB), from the collection Eddy Duchin Orchestra 78rpm Collection at (player fixed, 12/22/19):


Benny Goodman early portrait-1-ss-c1Benny Goodman_2

Benny Goodman and his Orchestra1934



Red McKenzie with The Spirits of Rhythm — recorded 11 September 1934




Leo Reisman and his Orchestra — 15 March 1934 recording, issued on Brunswick 6789, c/w “Ill Wind” — The vocal of “Ill Wind” is by Phil Neely. The “As Long as I Live” vocal sounds like it too was sung by Neely, although identifies the vocalist by the initials “SS.”

audio file from, Ogg Vorbis (1.7 MB):



Lew Stone and His Band, vocal by Al Bowlly — recorded 3 August 1934, at the Monseigneur Restaurant, London

It was issued as the B-side of Decca Records 78 rpm single Isle of Capri (Wilhelm Grosz, Jimmy Kennedy) (Decca F.5132), a 25 July 1934 recording by Lew Stone and His Band with vocal by trumpeter Nat Gonella.


Benny-Goodman-Sextet-Paramount Theatre-NY-Autumn-1940-1-sh20-f10

Benny Goodman Sextet-1-d43Benny Goodman Sextet, featuring Count Basie — recorded 7 November 1940

Benny Goodman, clarinet
Count Basie, piano
Charlie Christian, electric guitar
Cootie Williams, trumpet
George Auld, tenor sax
Artie Bernstein, bass
Harry Jaeger, drums




Lena Horne with Horace Henderson and his Orchestra — recorded in Hollywood, California on 21 November 1944



Anita O’Day — recorded 6 December 1955, and released on the 1956 Verve LP Anita (MGV 2000), reissued in 1962 as This is Anita (V/V6 8483)

Anita O’Day: vocal
Paul Smith: piano
Barney Kessel: guitar
Joe Mondragon: bass
Alvin Stoller: drums


Gene Krupa — second track on the 1965 Metro Records LP Gene Krupa (MS 518)


Kenny Burrell — from his 1967 LP A Generation Ago Today


Jim Cullum Jazz Band with guests: singer Catherine Russell and pianist Dick Hyman — An excerpt from a recording for the Public Radio series Riverwalk Jazz at Pearl Stable, San Antonio, TX, May 2010

JCJB members — Jim Cullum: cornet, Ron Hockett: reeds, Mike Pittsley: trombone, Howard Elkins: guitar, Ric Ramirez: bass, Mike Waskiewicz, drums



Catherine Russell — live studio performance, Rijnmond, Rotterdam – 9 July 2010

Before she performed at North Sea Jazz Festival 2010 in the evening, Catherine Russell visited the studios of RTV Rijnmond, Rotterdam. She sang “As Long As I Live” from her album, Catherine RussellInside This Heart of Mine.

Catherine Russell – vocals
Mark Shane – piano
Matt Munisteri – guitar
Lee Hudson – bass


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. musicdoc1
    Dec 29, 2020 @ 15:03:41



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