Taking a Chance on Love


Taking a Chance on Love (m. Vernon Duke, w. Ted Fetter, John Latouche)

From WICN’s song of the week feature:

“Taking a Chance on Love” is another example of the last-minute substitution that becomes the hit. Vernon Duke described how it came to be in the show: “The song Latouche and I had originally written was a plaintive and rather “offbeat” lullaby, pretty enough but carrying no “sock” …Miss Waters didn’t care for the “lullaby” and wanted some “meat and potatoes” instead.” Since Duke needed a new song in a hurry, he resorted to his trunk of songs and stumbled on a tune that he and lyricist Ted Fetter had written a few years earlier, “Fooling Around With Love.” He went on to say, “I tried it on Latouche; he fell for the tune but thought the title not sufficiently “on the nose” for the dramatic situation. An afternoon’s work, with an assist from Fetter, followed, and what emerged was “Taking a Chance on Love”… I took Ethel to the downstairs lounge at the Martin Beck [Theatre], in between rehearsals, to play her the song, and she stopped me after the first eight bars with: “Mister, our troubles are over. That’s it!”


Benny Goodman-3-0t-40fhelen-forrest-2a-t0

Benny Goodman and his Orchestra, vocal: Helen Forrest 1940. The audio is defective; sounds as if it was recorded from speakers, and one of them was muted or too far away from the mic.


Ethel Waters in the 1943 film version of Cabin in the Sky

Vodpod videos no longer available..

Hazel Scott in the film I Dood It (1943)


June Christy – with the Ernie Felice Quartet1950. A Snader Telescriptions short film.


Jo Stafford with Paul Weston and his Orchestra, from the album Swinging Down Broadway, 1958, a Billy May arrangement.


Alma Cogan – 1958


Anita O’Day – date unknown


Sara Lazarus with Biréli Lagrène & Gipsy Project from the album It’s Alright With Me2006


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. John
    Nov 05, 2010 @ 14:37:48

    Thanks again for your wonderful website. I look forward to your entries. ‘Taking a chance on Love’….what a great song!

    Liked by 1 person


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