Spring Will Be a Little Late This Year


Frank Loesser (5a)Deanna Durbin-Christmas Holiday (1944) 1

Spring Will Be a Little Late This Year (Frank Loesser)

FrankLoesser.com1944 Spring Will Be a Little Late This Year-sheet music-2a-50p dates the song 1943. The earliest broadcast performance of the song that I’m aware of is that by Connie Haines in the 2 March 1944 episode of the Abbott and Costello Show (radio).

The first issued recording listed by SecondHandSongs.com is that by Johnnie Johnston with Paul Weston and his Orchestra, released in March 1944. The song was featured in the 1944 film Christmas Holiday, where it is sung by Deanna Durbin. Recordings were made by Percy Faith, 24 April 1944 (Decca 23344, c/w “Amor”), and by Morton Downey, 8 May 1944, well before the general release of the film on 30 June 1944, but each was issued in June 1944 and it’s unclear whether either release preceded that of the film. Another early recording not included below is that by Ambrose and his Orchestra, with vocal by Anne Shelton, recorded on 9 September 1944 and issued on (UK) Decca F.8480.

In the biography of her father, A Most Remarkable Fella: Frank Loesser and the Guys and Dolls in His Life...(2000), by Susan Loesser, on page 61 the author says:

This song is one of his few melancholy ones, but it is not without hope. Nor does it lack a clear-eyed sense of reality. Frank Loesser lyrics are rarely up in the clouds. Usually they are true to the way people actually think and talk, and often they include a dimension of self-observation. In this one, the analogy of the coming of spring with the return of happiness is hardly innovative. What makes it a Loesser song is the idea of the season’s slow start. It doesn’t make the mood less sad, but it makes it clever at the same time.


Connie Haines-BLUE radio, inscribed to Herman-1a Connie Haines — from a radio broadcast transcription of the 2 March 1944 episode of The Abbott and Costello Show, featuring Hedda Hopper — The video provider notes that Ms. Haines was a feature vocal stylist on the show during the years 1942-1946. Thanks to visitor Steven, who in a 15  April 2018 comment identifies the orchestra at the time of this broadcast, saying:

Regarding Connie Haines singing “Spring Will Be A Little Late This Year” on the Abbott and Costello show of March 2nd, 1944: the show’s orchestra at the time was Freddie Rich’s.


Johnnie Johnston-inscribed to DeannaJohnnie Johnston-46-inscribed-ss

Johnnie Johnston with Paul Weston and his Orchestra — recording date unknown; issued in March 1944 on Capitol 152, c/w “Irresistible You”

The provider of the following video indicates that the recording is from Armed Forces Radio Service (AFRS) Personal Album episode #368. The voice introducing the music is presumably that of Johnnie Johnston. I don’t know if the recording incorporates the Capitol 152 side.


1944 Spring Will Be a Little Late This Year-Morton Downey-Decca 18607-1-c1ca. 1940s --- Singer Morton Downey --- Image by © John Springer Collection/CORBIS

Morton Downey with orchestra directed by Jimmy Lytell* – recorded on 8 May 1944; issued on Decca 18607, c/w “Christopher Robinson Saying His Prayers”


Deanna Durbin in Christmas Holiday (1944) — The NY première of the film was on 28 June 1944; general release followed on 30 June.


Evelyn Knight — according to the provider, the following recording is a broadcast transcription from a “July 16, 1944 Radio Hall Of Fame radio program [,with] orchestra directed by Paul Whiteman.”


1944 Spring Will Be a Little Late This Year-Geraldo and his Orch.-Parlophone F 2047 (30p)

Geraldo and his Orchestra; vocal: Johnny Green — recorded on 7 November 1944; issued in December 1944 on (UK) Parlophone F 2047, b/w “It Could Happen to You”


Deanna Durbin in Lady on a Train (1945)-21945 Spring Will Be a Little Late This Year-Deanna Durbin-Decca 23397-label

Deanna Durbin with orchestra under direction of Edgar Fairchild — recorded on 15 December 1944; issued on Decca 23397, as the B-side of “Always”


Leslie Hutchinson – issued in 1944 on HMV B.D.1091


1950 Spring Will Be a Little Late This Year-Ralph Flanagan-RCA Victor 20-3724-1sm-c1Peggy King and Harry Prime 1950-d25

Ralph Flanagan and his Orchestra, vocal by Harry Prime — issued in 1950 on RCA Victor 20-3724, b/w “Joshua”


Sarah Vaughan, 1954-11953 Spring Will Be a Little Late This Year-Sarah Vaughan-Columbia 39963 (1a)

Sarah Vaughan with Percy Faith and his Orchestra — recorded on 5 January 1953; issued on 13 March 1953 on Columbia 39963, b/w “A Blues Serenade”


1955 With Strings-Helen Merrill-Emarcy ‎MG-36057 (1a-d40)helen-merrill-1

Helen Merrill with orchestra arranged and conducted by Richard Hayman —  from her second album, Helen Merrill With Strings, Emarcy ‎MG-36057, released in 1955


Rita Reys with the Jazz Messengers — recorded in New York City on 25 June 1956; issued on the 1956 album The Cool Voice of Rita Reys, (US) Columbia CL 903, (Netherlands) Philips ‎B 08006 L


Ahmad Jamal-1

Ahmad Jamal Trio  — recorded on 17 September 1956; issued on the 1956 LP Count ‘Em 88, Argo Records LP-610

  • Ahmad Jamal – piano
  • Israel Crosby – bass
  • Walter Perkins – drums


Jeri Southern — recorded in 1957; originally issued on the 1958 LP Coffee, Cigarettes and Memories


Red Garland 1Red Garland 2

Red Garland — recorded in November 1958; issued on the 1958 album All Kinds of Weather, Prestige 7148

Red Garland – piano
Paul Chambers – bass
Art Taylor – drums



Roland Kirk Quartet — recorded at Nola Penthouse Sound Studio, NYC, on 17 August 1961, during the sessions that produced the tracks on 1962 album We Free Kings; issued on the 1990 compilation The Complete Mercury Recordings Of Roland Kirk, (Europe) Mercury 846 630-2


Anita O’Day and Cal Tjader — from the 1962 LP Time for 2, Verve Records ‎V6-8472, Verve Records ‎V/V6-8472


Joanie Sommers — from her 1963 album Sommers’ Seasons, Warner Bros. Records W 1504 (Mono), WS 1504 (Stereo)


1971 Back Home Again-Lee Wiley

Lee Wiley — from the 1971 album Back Home Again


Margaret Whiting and Johnny Desmond — from Ben Bagley’s Frank Loesser Revisited, Painted Smiles PS 1359; release dated 1974 at WorldCat.org and at other online public library catalogs — The 1990 extended CD reissue of the album, Painted Smiles PSCD-115 (Rate Your Music and AllMusic.com), has six additional tracks, the first sixteen tracks appearing in the same order as on the 1974 release.


Bing Crosby — from the 1977 album Seasons: The Closing Chapter, Polydor ‎PD-1-6128


Trio Pim Jacobs  — from the 1982 LP Come Fly With Me, (Netherlands) Philips ‎6423 529


* Jimmy Lytell — credited as “Jimmie Lytell” on the label


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Steven
    Apr 15, 2018 @ 14:20:15

    Hello. Regarding Connie Haines singing “Spring Will Be A Little Late This Year” on the Abbott and Costello show of March 2nd, 1944: the show’s orchestra at the time was Freddie Rich’s. Also, Sarah Vaughan sang it as the first song in a 1953 radio show ‘Your Rhythm Revue’, a program fund appeal for the Sister Kenny Foundation. There is also a version from Eydie Gorme on an LP set ‘The Steve and Eydie Gorme Treasury’. And Richard Maltby has an instrumental on his ‘Swingin’ Down The Lane’ LP.

    Liked by 1 person


    • doc
      Apr 16, 2018 @ 13:17:49

      Hi Steven,

      Thanks for this information. There are other sites that tend to be more comprehensive than mine with respect to the recording histories of songs. SecondHandSongs, for example, often lists multiple times as many versions as I do for a song, as they do in this case (present score=76, them:21, me). Working alone, and without a budget, I’ve no intention of trying to compete with sites that have financial support and thousands of contributors. However, I take pride in frequently listing more early recordings of a song than SHS does. That’s true in this case, as I have seven 1944 recordings of “Spring Will Be A Little Late This Year” included here while the SHS list includes only three.

      Even in cases where I don’t have a large surplus of recordings to choose from, I may still be very selective in deciding which recordings to include and which to omit from a page. For an as yet unpublished page that I’m constructing now, I’ve rejected more recordings than I’ve included, even though I wish there were several more really fine recordings to include.

      Specifically regarding the info and suggestions:
      1. I will add the information you’ve provided regarding the orchestra backing Connie Haines on the Abbott and Costello show.
      2. Did Sarah Vaughan perform the song live on radio in 1953? Though I only looked briefly today, I haven’t found a transcription of a 1953 radio performance by Vaughan.
      3. I was unable to precisely date the Steve and Eydie compilation album that you mention, though the seller at one site guesses that it was released in 1960. A recording of the song by Eydie Gorme was released on her 1959 album Love is a Season, (US) ABC Paramount ABC-273 (Mono), ABCS-273 (Stereo). This may be the recording that appears on the compilation album.
      4. Swingin’ Down the Lane, Columbia CL 1271 (Mono), CS 8082 (Stereo), by Richard Maltby and his Orchestra, released in 1959
      5. The 22 videos included in this page already make it rather full, and adding even a few more will certainly contribute to loading issues for some visitors. If I decide to create a part 2 page, as I occasionally do, then I may incorporate the recordings that you’ve suggested. Thanks again. Your assistance is much appreciated. : )




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