It Might as Well Be Spring
From WICN.org’s Song of the Week feature:
Oscar Hammerstein had a problem. He and Richard Rodgers were writing the score for the Twentieth Century-Fox the film State Fair, and he needed a song to fit the melancholy mood of a young girl who isn’t looking forward to going to the fair with her family, but doesn’t know why. He thought it sounded like a case of spring fever, but since state fairs always are held in autumn, he knew that idea wouldn’t work. In his biography of Hammerstein, Getting to Know Him, Hugh Fordin writes, “Rather half-heartedly he threw out the idea of having her say that although it’s autumn she has spring fever, so it might as well be spring. Dick [Rodgers] jumped up excitedly and said, “That’s it!” Within a week Oscar wrote the words for “It Might as Well be Spring.”
When State Fair was released in August of 1945, critics declared it to be one of the most successful films of the year, with “It Might as Well be Spring” winning the Academy Award for Best Song. Rodgers and Hammerstein were fresh from their precedent-setting Broadway musical, Oklahoma!, and one reviewer pronounced, “State Fair is to movie musicals what Oklahoma! is to stage musicals.” The score they wrote for State Fair was the only original film score they wrote; all their other film scores were adapted from stage plays.
Louann Hogan dubbing for Jeanne Crain in State Fair (1945)
Sammy Kaye and his Orchestra, 1945
Virgil Gonsalves Sextet – recorded 29 September 1954— Bob Enevoldsen [vtb], Buddy Wise [ts], Virgil Gonsalves [bs], Lou Levy [p], Harry Babasin [b], Larry Bunker [d]
Margaret Whiting – television performance, probably late 1950s; Whiting, with Paul Weston and his Orchestra, had been one of the first to cover the song in 1945
Blossom Dearie from her self-titled debut album for Verve, 1957, sung in French
Julie Andrews, from Julie Andrews – Sings, 1958
This recording by Andrews includes the original Hammerstein verse:
The things I used to like
I don’t like anymore.
I want a lot of other things
I’ve never had before.
It’s just like mother says…
I sit around and mope.
Pretending I am wonderful.
And knowing I’m a dope.
Ike Quebec – from the album It Might as Well Be Spring — Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey on 9 December 1961. Originally released on Blue Note (84105). Ike Quebec (tenor saxophone); Milt Hinton (bass); Freddie Roach (organ); Al Harewood (drums)
Bill Evans Trio — Moonbeams, 1962 — Bill Evans: piano, Chuck Israels: bass, Paul Motian: drums
Sylvia Telles — from her album The Face I Love, Kapp records, 1964
The New Stan Getz Quartet featuring Astrud Gilberto – live at Carnegie Hall, 9 October 1964, released on the album Getz-Gilberto #2
Wikipedia describes the occasion (excerpt),
After the huge success of the album Getz / Gilberto, and the single “The Girl from Ipanema”, jazz saxophonist Stan Getz and Brazilian guitarist/vocalist Joao Gilberto find themselves together for a legendary concert held on 9 October, 1964 at Carnegie Hall, New York . Given the success of the first record (also made famous by the voice of Astrud Gilberto, then wife of João) it comes as no surprise that the concert sells out, now something of a rarity in concert jazz.
Stan Getz performs here with his new quartet, which includes young vibraphonist Gary Burton, bassist Gene Cherico, and drummer Joe Hunt. Getz turns in a sparkling performances on the seldom covered ballad Tonight I Shall Sleep With A Smile On My Face, while stretching out nicely on his original blues swinger Stan’s Blues. This quartet alternates on stage with João Gilberto’s trio, which features a rhythm section composed of Brazilian drummer Helcio Melito and bassist Keter Betts.
Lou Donaldson Nonet — recorded at Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, on 20 January 1967; originally released in Japan in 1980 on the album Sweet Slumber, Blue Note (J) GXF-3068; reissued in 1986 as Lush Life, Blue Note BST 84254
Freddie Hubbard (trumpet), Garnett Brown (trombone), Lou Donaldson (alto sax), Jerry Dodgion (flute), Wayne Shorter (tenor sax), Pepper Adams (baritone sax), McCoy Tyner (piano), Ron Carter (bass), Al Harewood (drums), Duke Pearson (arranger)
2006 digital remaster