At Last


At Last (m. Harry Warren, w. Mack Gordon)

From Wikipedia:

At Last” is a song written by Mack Gordon and Harry Warren for the musical film Sun Valley Serenade (1941). Glenn Miller and his orchestra recorded the tune several times, with a 1942 version reaching number two on the US Billboard pop music chart.[1]

In 1960, rhythm and blues singer Etta James recorded an arrangement by Riley Hampton that improvised on Warren’s melody. James’ version was the title track on her debut album At Last! (1960) and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.[2] Celine Dion and Beyoncé also had chart successes with the song.

The song was featured in the 1942 musical film Orchestra Wives, where it was performed by Glenn Miller and his Orchestra, with vocals by Ray Eberle and Pat Friday (dubbing for actress Lynn Bari).

From the Song of the Week feature, on it’s recent wave of popularity:

“At Last,” written nearly 70 years ago, recently has been in the news more than most contemporary songs. It received worldwide notoriety when it was selected as the song for the first dance of President and Mrs. Obama at the ten official inaugural balls in January 2009. A month earlier the Tri-Star Pictures film Cadillac Records had been released, and “At Last” featured prominently on its soundtrack. The film is a dramatization of the history of Chess Records, the legendary recording studio of the 1950s and 1960s that made Chicago the home of the blues, R&B and rock-n-roll.


Glenn Miller and his Orchestra, vocals Ray Eberle and Pat Friday (dubbing for actress Lynn Bari), from the film Orchestra Wives (1942)


Chet Baker (trumpet) with Russ Freeman (piano), Jimmy Giuffre (clarinet), and Max Roach (drums) – from the album Complete Performances with the Lighthouse All Stars: Chet Baker & Miles Davis – recorded 13 September 1953 at jazz club The Lighthouse, in Hermosa Beach, California



Nat King Cole with Gordon Jenkins and his Orchestra, from the 1957 album Love is the Thing, the first of four collaborations between Cole and the arranger.


Etta James — issued in December 1960 on the single Argo 5380, b/w “I Just Want to Make Love to You” (Willie Dixon)

audio file, VBR MP3 (7.0 MB), from the page At Last, at [link and file replaced, 10/5/2022]:


Mary Wells 2

Mary Wells with the Andantes –  1964


Christina Aguilera from a television production called VH1: Men Strike Back (2000). Citing a June 28, 2006 article by Jennifer Vineyard, Wikipedia quotes Aguilera,

Etta is my all-time favorite singer. I’ve said it for the last seven years – since I had my first debut record out – in every interview. I mean, all of Etta’s old songs, countless songs I could name, I grew up listening to.[164]



Beyon recorded the song for the soundtrack of the film Cadillac Records (2008) in which she portrays Etta James.

From Wikipedia:

[Beyoncé] Knowles also sang the song at Barack Obama’s first dance with his wife Michelle during the Neighborhood Ball on the night of his inauguration as President of the United States, much to the chagrin of Etta James, who remarked to the audience at a concert a week later “that woman…singing my song, she gonna get her ass whupped,” and “I can’t stand Beyoncé,”[3][4] though she later told the New York Daily News she “didn’t really mean anything” by her comments.[5] The event was telecast live on multiple broadcast and cable television networks. At each of the balls, the Obamas’ dance song remained “At Last”. The song won the Grammy Award for Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance at the 52nd Grammy Awards.

Live at Fashion Rocks 2008


soundtrack recording


Inaugural Ball of President Barack Obama, the first of ten attended by the President and his wife on the evening of 20 Jan 2009

Video to be replaced



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Why do my tag searches fail?

%d bloggers like this: