Come Rain or Come Shine


Come Rain or Come Shine (m. Harold Arlen, w. Johnny Mercer) says:

“Come Rain or Come Shine” was introduced by Ruby Hill and Harold Nicholas in the Broadway musical St. Louis Woman. Set in St. Louis in 1898, the story revolved around Della Green (Hill), a woman who wants out of her relationship with bar owner Biglow Brown (Rex Ingram) when she falls for Li’l Augie, (Nicholas), a jockey on a winning streak. The show opened on March 30, 1946, at the Martin Beck Theatre to lackluster reviews and attendance and closed after only 113 performances.

The book came under heavy criticism not only for its weak story and dramatic flaws, but for flagrant racial stereotyping. Reviewers and watchdogs found plenty to be offended by. The NAACP greeted the announcement of the pending musical with the statement that the show “detracted from the dignity of our race,” and the organization pressured Lena Horne, slated to play the female lead, to withdraw from the show. The NAACP also reportedly attacked the show in newspapers and picketed it on opening night. [Citations needed, since the source previously given for this paragraph is defunct.]

In his biography of Johnny Mercer, Skylark, published in 2004, Philip Furia wrote (pages 162-163):

Critics were unanimous in their praise for the songs, for Pearl Bailey, even the sets and costumes, but there was widespread criticism of the book. “Everything would be lovely,” one critic lamented, “If the Bontemps-Cullen story didn’t keep getting in the way. It’s a foolish story at bestA musical playshould improve as scene after scene goes by. It ought to walk in the beginning, step lively in the middle, run when it gets to the end. This, St. Louis Woman just does not do.”

helpful links:

1946 Come Rain or Come Shine-Tommy Dorsey-RCA Victor 20-1819 (B-side)Portrait of Sy Oliver, NYC, c. September 1946-William Gottlieb-1-10p

Tommy Dorsey and his Orchestra, vocal: Sy Oliver — recorded on 31 January 1946; issued in March 1946 on RCA Victor 20-1819, as the B-side of “Where Did You Learn To Love” (Jule Styne, Harry Harris, Sammy Cahn)


margaret-whiting-1-hx8Johnny Mercer and Margaret Whiting

Margaret Whiting with Paul Weston and his Orchestra — recorded on 17 February 1946; issued on Capitol 247, b/w “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man”


1946 Come Rain or Come Shine-Dinah Shore-Columbia 36971Dinah Shore-c-1947

Dinah Shore with Orchestra under the direction of Sonny Burke — recorded on 18 March 1946 (according to Wikipedia) or in May 1946 (according to; issued on Columbia 36971, c/w “All That Glitters is Not Gold”

The relatively poor quality of the following recording suggests that it might be a transcript of the radio broadcast referred to by Wikipedia, under “Notable Recordings,” when it says, “Dinah performed it on the May 16, 1946 edition of the Birds Eye Open House radio programme [sic].” This might help to explain why 78discography credits each of the Columbia 36971 sides to “Dinah Shore and Meredith Wilson” [Meredith Willson], even though the label of the “Come Rain or Come Shine” side of Columbia 36971 indicates that she was accompanied by an orchestra conducted by Sonny Burke. I don’t know what source Wikipedia used to date the Columbia 36971 side. Other sites which give the same date seem to be quoting Wikipedia.


(below) Date and accompaniment unknown; I don’t think that this is the Columbia 36971 side. The arrangement and the maturity of her voice suggest a later date to me.


Dick Haymes and Helen Forrest with Orchestra directed by Earle Hagen — recorded on 14 April 1946; issued on Decca 23548, b/w “You Stole My Heart (But It Wasn’t Stealing)”


1953 Sings Broadway's Best-Jo Stafford-Columbia CL 6238stafford-jo-2

Jo Stafford with Paul Weston and his Orchestra — recorded on 27 June 1952; issued on the 1953 LP Jo Stafford Sings Broadway’s Best, Columbia CL 6238


Marlene Dietrich — 1952, vocal partly spoken. Don’t listen to this if you are near an open window, and above the second floor. Never has the promise of eternal love loomed as such a dismal prospect.


Clifford Brown Quartet – recorded in Paris on 15 October 1953

Clifford Brown (tp)
Henri Renaud (p)
Pierre Michelot (b)
Benny Bennett (ds)


Dinah Washington – from Dinah Jams,  recorded live in Los Angeles, 14 August 1954


Billie Holiday_prob. Pep's Musical Bar_25-30 April 1955_2

Billie Holiday – Session #74 Los Angeles, on 25 August 1955 — Billie Holiday & Her Orchestra (Verve): Harry `Sweets` Edison (tp) Benny Carter (as) Jimmy Rowles (p) Barney Kessel (g) John Simmons (b) Larry Bunker (d) Billie Holiday (v)


Sonny Clark – third track on Sonny’s Crib – recorded at Van Gelder studio, Hackensack, NJ, on 9 October 1957 — Sonny Clark (piano); John Coltrane (tenor saxophone); Donald Byrd (trumpet); Curtis Fuller (trombone); Paul Chambers (bass); Art Taylor (drums).


Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers – recorded on 30 October 1958 at Rudy Van Gelder Studio in Hackensack, NJ; released in 1959 on the album Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, (US) BLP 4003 (Mono), and as Moanin’ on the stereo version, BST 4003

  • Lee Morgan — trumpet
  • Benny Golson — tenor saxophone
  • Bobby Timmons — piano
  • Jymie Merritt — bass
  • Art Blakey — drums

From Wikipedia:

This was Blakey’s first album for Blue Note in several years, after a period of recording for a miscellany of labels, and marked both a homecoming and a fresh start. Originally the LP was self-titled, but the instant popularity of the bluesy opening track “Moanin'” (by pianist Bobby Timmons) led to its becoming known by that title. The rest of the originals are by saxophonist Benny Golson (who wasn’t with the Jazz Messengers for very long, this being the only American album on which he is featured). “Are You Real?” is a propulsive thirty-two-bar piece with a four-bar tag, featuring strong two-part writing for Golson and trumpeter Lee Morgan; “Along Came Betty” is a more lyrical, long-lined piece, almost serving as the album’s ballad. “The Drum Thunder Suite” is a feature for Blakey, in three movements, or themes: “Drum Thunder”; “Cry a Blue Tear” (with a Latin feel); and “Harlem’s Disciples”. “Blues March” calls on the feeling of the New Orleans marching bands, and the album finishes on its only standard, an unusually brisk reading of “Come Rain or Come Shine”. Of the originals on the album, all but the “Drum Thunder Suite” became staples of the Messengers book, even after Timmons and Golson were gone.

The album stands as one of the archetypal hard bop albums of the era, for the intensity of Blakey’s drumming and the work of Morgan, Golson and Timmons, and for its combination of old-fashioned gospel and blues influences with a sophisticated modern jazz sensibility. The album was identified by Scott Yanow in his Allmusic essay “Hard Bop” as one of the 17 Essential Hard Bop Recordings.[1]



Judy Garland

recorded on 4 August 1960, with orchestra conducted by Norrie Paramor, and released on her 1961 album Judy in London


from the Judy Garland Show, Episode #3, taped on 16 July 1963


Max Roach Plus Four — from the album Moon-Faced and Starry-Eyed, released in 1960


Wes Montgomery

Recorded live at Tsubo’s (coffee house) in Berkeley, California on 25 June 1962; released on the 1962 LP “Full House,” Riverside Records ‎RLP 434

Wes Montgomery: guitar
Johnny Griffin: tenor saxophone
Wynton Kelly: piano
Paul Chambers: bass

take 2


Harry James and his Orchestra, vocal: Ruth Price – live, date unknown


Ray Charles — the final track on side two of the 1959 album The Genius of Ray Charles

Side two personnel, adapted from Wikipedia (choir added):

  • Ray Charles: piano and vocals
  • Allen Hanlon: guitar
  • Wendell Marshall: bass
  • Ted Sommer: drums
  • Bob Brookmeyer: valve trombone
  • Harry Lookofsky: concertmaster
  • large woodwinds and strings section
  • soprano choir
  • Ralph Burns: arranger


Art Pepper – from the album Intensity, released in 1960


B.B. King and Eric Clapton — from the 2000 album Riding with the King



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