Pennies from Heaven


Pennies From Heaven (m. Arthur Johnston, w. Johnny Burke)

The song was introduced in the 1936 musical comedy film of the same name, based on the novel The Peacock Feather by Katherine Leslie Moore. Stars: Bing Crosby, who sings the song in the film, Madge Evans and Ediths Fellows. Jazzstandards lists four hit recordings in 1936 including that by Crosby with Jimmy Dorsey and his Orchestra. The others were those by Hal Kemp and his Orchestra, cabaret performer Hildegarde, and a second by Jimmy Dorsey and his Orchestra with vocalist Bob Eberle.

Notable early jazz interpretations include an early one by Count Basie and his Orchestra, featuring Lester Young and vocalist Jimmy Rushing, and the recording by Teddy Wilson and his Orchestra with vocals by Billie Holiday. At the time of the recording, Wilson’s band included Benny Goodman (clarinet) and Ben Webster (tenor sax).

Bing Crosby

In the 1936 film Pennies from Heaven


Bing Crosby with Georgie Stoll and his Orchestra — recorded on 24 July 1936; issued in October 1936 on the 10-inch 78 rpm single Decca 947, as the B-side of “Let’s Call a Heart a Heart”


Billie Holiday – Session #13 New York, 19 November 1936 , Teddy Wilson & Orchestra (Brunswick) Jonah Jones (tp) Benny Goodman (cl) Ben Webster (ts) Teddy Wilson (p)Allan Reuss (g) John Kirby (b) Cozy Cole (d) Billie Holiday (v)



Hal Kemp and his Orchestra – 1936


Count Basie and his Orchestra, vocal: Jimmy Rushing – 1937


Lester Young Quintet – Norman Granz’s documentary “Improvisation” (part 4) – Lester Young (ts), Bill Harris (tb), Hank Jones (p), Ray Brown (b), Buddy Rich (d) – New York, 1950


Dave Brubeck Quartet, recorded in NY 14 October 1954

Paul Desmond – Alto Sax
Dave Brubeck – Piano
Bob Bates – Bass
Joe Dodge – Drums



Frank Sinatra — recorded on 10 Jan 1956, arranged by Nelson Riddle; released on the album Songs for Swingin’ Lovers.


Stan Getz with the Oscar Peterson Trio – 10 Oct 1957 — Stan Getz (tenor sax), Oscar Peterson (piano), Herb Ellis (guitar), Ray Brown (bass).


Louis Prima with Sam Butera and the Witnesses — probably from the 1957 LP Call of the Wildest, Capitol Records T836, T-836


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