Suddenly It’s Spring

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Suddenly It’s Spring (m. Jimmy Van Heusen, w. Johnny Burke)

The song was registered for copyright on 7 December 1943. It was recorded by Ginger Rogers and Don Loper — according to IMDb, SecondHandSongs, and others — for the 1944 feature film Lady in the Dark, though it was cut from the film. A post on the song at The Ginger Rogers Resource says:

Miss Ginger Rogers recorded the song “Suddenly It’s Spring” for the movie Lady in the Dark.  When the movie was released in 1944, the song had been left on the cutting room floor BUT the recording was put on a record…

However, the link provided there to a Rogers recording at archive.org is dead, and I’ve been unable to locate the recording elsewhere.

Sheet music for the song, advertising the film Lady in the Dark, was published in 1943. In a copy of the 1943 sheet music provided by RubyLane.com, above the title on page 2 (page 1 is the cover) is the following note:

As sung and danced by Ginger Rogers accompanied by the Joseph J. Lilley Choir in the Paramount Picture, “Lady in the Dark”

Of the 1944 film Wikipedia says:

The film was based on the 1941 Broadway musical Lady in the Dark, written by Kurt Weill (music), Ira Gershwin (lyrics), and Moss Hart (book and direction). The film version cut most of the Weill/Gershwin songs from the score. “The Saga of Jenny” and “Girl of the Moment” remained, and part of “This Is New” is played by a nightclub band in the background. Part of “My Ship” was hummed by Ginger Rogers, but the song itself was never sung.

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useful links:

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Hildegarde — recorded on 4 January 1944; issued on the 78 rpm single Decca 23297, b/w “Leave Us Face It (We’re In Love)”

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Ginny Simms — recorded on 28 January 1944; issued on the single Columbia 36693, b/w “Irresistible You”

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Glenn Miller and the Army Air Force Band, vocal: Johnny Desmond —  recorded on 19 February 1944; available on the album The Missing Chapters – Volume 1: American Patrol (2007)

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Glen Gray and the Casa Loma Orchestra, vocal: Eugenie Baird — recorded on 28 February 1944; issued on the 78 rpm single Decca 18596, b/w “Sure Thing” (Jerome Kern, Ira Gershwin)

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Jerry Cooper with orchestra directed by Wilbur Hatch — evidently a radio broadcast transcription — The provider says, “from June 1, 1944 Spotlight On Music” and “orchestra directed by Wilbur Hatch.”

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Frank Sinatra – I haven’t been able to date or locate this recording. My guess would be mid- to late 1940s. The audience applause at the beginning suggests that it’s from a live show, though that could be canned. Steve Albin’s extensive list of songs recorded by Sinatra doesn’t include “Suddenly It’s Spring.” The quality of the recording is low.

Update: A comment by 1jazzguy, dated 2018/03/18 at 8:34 am, on the post announcing the publishing of this page, says:

Sinatra’s version is from a 1945 radio *broadcast.
*From an unknown source, added to the AFRS rebroadcast.

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Al Cohn Quintet – recorded on 29 July 1954 at Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ — Both of the following takes were released in 1970(?) on the LP Broadway/1954, Prestige Records PR 7819

personnel: Hal Stein – alto sax, Al Cohn – tenor sax, Harvey Leonard – piano, Red Mitchell – bass, Christy Febbo – drums

take 1

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take 2

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Stan Getz et al – recorded on 15 August 1955 at Radio Recorders, Los Angeles, CA; originally issued on the 1955 album West Coast Jazz, Norgran Records MG N-1032; reissued in 1957 on Verve MGV 8028

personnel (from jazzdisco.org): Conte Candoli, trumpet; Stan Getz, tenor sax; Lou Levy, piano; Leroy Vinnegar, bass; Shelly Manne, drums

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Chris Connor – from her 1956 LP He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not, (US) Atlantic SD 1240, Atlantic 1240

Watch the video at YouTube (playback disabled elsewhere).

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Phil Woods Septet — recorded at Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ, on 15 June 1956; issued on the 1956 album Pairing Off, Prestige PRLP-7046

session & album personnel:

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Dave Pell Octet — from the 1956 LP Plays Burke and Van Heusen, Kapp Records KL 1034 (and KL-1034) — SecondHandSongs indicates that the album was recorded in September 1953, but I haven’t verified that date.

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June Christy — from her 1963 album The Intimate Miss Christy, Capitol Records T1953 (Mono), ST 1953 (Stereo)

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The Fabulous Five — from the 1966 album Lara’s Theme, Power Records D406 (Mono), DS 406 (Stereo)

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Joe Albany — from the 1972 album Proto-Bopper, released on Revelation Records in the US and Spotlite Records in the UK

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Zoot Sims Quartet — recorded on 26 May 1983 in New York City; from the 1983 LP Suddenly It’s Spring, Pablo Records 2310-898

  • Zoot Sims – tenor sax
  • Jimmy Rowles – piano
  • George Mraz – bass
  • Akira Tana – drums

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Fraser MacPherson Quartet — from the 1987 album Honey and Spice, Justin Time JUST-23-1

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Kenny Drew Trio — from the album Recollections, released in 1989 in Japan on Alfa Jazz 29R2-5, and in Germany in 1990 on Timeless Records CDSJP 333

Kenny Drew – piano
Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen — bass
Alvin Queen – drums

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 Vic Lewis West Coast All Stars — from the 1993 CD album Shake Down the Stars – The Music of Jimmy Van Heusen, Candid CCD 79526

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Jack Brownlow Trio — from the 1999 album Suddenly It’s Bruno, (Canada) Jazz Focus ‎JFCD031

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* Some vocal recordings of “Suddenly It’s Spring” contain at least one verse section. I haven’t found a transcription of the lyric that includes any verses. For this reason, and due to the oddities of the

In the transcription, by David Story, of the lyric at International Lyrics Playground, the first line in section two is “Why do you keep sighing,” which is what Hildegarde sings in her recording on 4 January 1944. However, in every other vocal version that I’ve heard the line goes “Why do I keep sighing.”

Given that the Frank Sinatra recording of “Suddenly It’s Spring” is of such poor quality, and that Sinatra discographer Steve Albin doesn’t acknowledge its existence in his list of songs recorded by Sinatra, I was surprised to find that nearly every online lyric transcription of the song, one exception being the one at International Lyrics Playground, features the Sinatra version of the lyric. The problem is that Sinatra’s version contains lines not heard in any other vocal version that I’ve heard. In all other vocal versions that I’m aware of the fourth section of the chorus exactly repeats the third section, as follows:

High on a hilltop, love is calling
Someone should wish me happy falling
No more being lonely — Can I be lonely?
You look at me and suddenly it’s spring

The last section of the Sinatra version is not a repetition of the preceding section. Instead, it extends it with two additional phrases, like so:

High on a hilltop, love is calling
Someone should wish me happy falling
No more being lonely — Can I be lonely?
You look at me, I look at you
We’re young and free, and suddenly it’s spring

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