Love Letters

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(ab0ve) Jennifer Jones, publicity shots for Love Letters (1945)

Love Letters (music: Victor Young, words: Edward Heyman)

The music was composed for and introduced, without a lyric, in the 1945 film Love Letters. Directed by William Dieterle, the film starred Jennifer Jones, Joseph Cotten, Ann Richards, Cecil Kellaway, Gladys Cooper and Anita Louise. It was nominated for four Academy Awards including the award for Best Music, Song for “Love Letters.”

Second Hand Songs identifies a March 1945 recording by Dick Haymes as the first released recording of the song. The lyric sung by Haymes was written by Edward Heyman.

Dick Haymes with orchestra under the direction of Victor Young — recorded on 2 March 1945, and issued on Decca 18699, as the B-side of “Till the End of Time”

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Nat King Cole – from the album Love Is the Thing, released in 1957

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Jack Jones – from his 1961 album Lollipops and Roses, 1961

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Ketty Lester 2

Ketty Lester — Era label 45rpm single 3068, b/w “I’m a Fool to Want You,” issued in January 1962

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Shindig! Season 1, Episode 12, airdate: 4 November 1964

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Cilla Black – from her 1965 album Cilla

VBR MP3 (4.4 MB) audio file from the Internet Archive (archive.org):

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Billy Thorpe & the Aztecs – single, released in November 1965

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The Lettermen — from their 1966 LP A New Song for Young Love

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Elvis Presley — from the 1971 album Love Letters From Elvis

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Keith Jarrett Trio – Standards II, Live in Tokyo, Japan 1986

Keith Jarrett: piano
Gary Peacock: bass
Jack DeJohnette: drums

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Diana Krall — from The Look of Love, 2001

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Eddie Higgins Quartet featuring Scott Hamilton, from Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, released on the Venus (Japan) label, 2001. A number of sites selling the album report that it reached #1 in Japan. I’ve found no information on recording dates yet. Higgins had recorded the song in 1965 with his Eddie Higgins Trio.

Eddie Higgins (piano), Scott Hamilton (tenor saxophone), Steve Gilmore (bass), Bill Goodwin (drums)

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David Matthews and Friends, a group of musicians associated with the MJO — date unknown

  • David Matthews: piano, leader
  • Scott Wendholt: trumpet
  • Jim Pugh: trombone
  • George Young : tenor
  • Michael Moore: bass
  • Terry Silverlight: drums
  • Jon Werking: keyboards

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