The End of a Love Affair
The End of a Love Affair (Edward C. Redding) — published in 1950
- International Lyrics Playground — chorus only
- Reading Lyrics — book, eds. Robert Gottlieb, Robert Kimball, 2000 — complete lyric, including the “interlude,” which, when used, has sometimes been sung as an opening verse
Standard of the Day says,
This somber and smokey tune of love and loss was practically written for the saloon. Jimmy Dorsey’s orchestra introduced it, but it was quickly snatched up by a number of different artists during the 1950s.
In a 10 April 2014 comment, visitor Daniel Fitzgerald suggests that a 1951 recording by Margaret Whiting might have been the first recording of the song, and notes that it contains the full verse, about which he comments, “I’ve never heard or seen any reference to the verse before.” Second Hand Songs recognizes the Whiting recording as the first released recording of the song, and it does in fact include a verse section in the beginning, but there are at least a couple of other
1950s recordings in which the same introductory verse is used. However, in the book Reading Lyrics (see link above) by eds. Robert Gottlieb, Robert Kimball, published in 2000, this section of the lyric is placed after the refrain, or chorus, and is labelled an “interlude.”
Of the recordings featured below, the complete introductory verse is sung in the following instances, while in his 1961 version Nat King Cole sings a modified portion of it.
- 1951 — Margaret Whiting
- 1953 — Mabel Mercer
- 1959 — Chris Connor
Margaret Whiting with Orchestra directed by Lou Busch — issued on Capitol 1585, c/w “Everlasting” — The discography at MargaretWhiting.com indicates that it was recorded at Session #2164, in Los Angeles on 9 May 1951.
Dinah Shore with Henri René and his Orchestra — B-side of “Getting to Know You,” RCA Victor 47-4286, according to 45cat.com, issued in October 1951, although Discogs.com has “The End of a Love Affair” as the A-side
Jimmy Dorsey and his Orchestra, with unidentified female vocalist — date unknown
I’ve been unable to properly identify the following Jimmy Dorsey recording, which sounds like it might be a live radio broadcast transcription, so I’ll just provide a link to the video for now. I don’t know who the female vocalist is, and haven’t found her identified anywhere, though she’s so good that I feel I ought to know this voice.
Mabel Mercer — from her 1953 album Songs by Mabel Mercer, Atlantic ALS 402 — Mercer’s recording includes the verse
Helen Merrill — from the 1955 LP Helen Merrill With Strings, EmArcy MG-36057 — orchestration by Richard Hayman
- Barry Galbraith – guitar
- Hank Jones – piano
- Milt Hinton – bass
- Sol Gubin – drums
Frank Sinatra with The Hollywood String Quartet — recorded on 5 April 1956, with arrangement by Nelson Riddle; released on the 1956 album Close to You
Donald Byrd: trumpet
Hank Mobley: tenor Sax
Horace Silver: piano
Doug Watkins: bass
Art Blakey: drums
In a comment, dated Feb 06, 2016 @ 02:01:46, Geoffrey Jacques said:
I am so happy to see this post. I’ve always loved this song since first hearing the Blakey and Holiday versions. Here’s my question, though: Where’s the Johnny Hartman version? It’s on The Debonair Mr. Hartman, Bethlehem 6014, rec. 1956.
Johnny Hartman with the Ernie Wilkins Orchestra — recorded in November 1956, during sessions which produced the 1956 album All of Me: The Debonair Johnny Hartman, Bethlehem Records BCP 6014; this track is one of several on the album that were arranged and conducted by Frank Hunter
Cyril Stapleton and his Orchestra — from the 1956 LP Dim Lights and Blue Music, MGM Records E3351
Billie Holiday – Session #86 New York, 20 February 1958, Ray Ellis and his Orchestra (Columbia) — Urbie Green, Tom Mitchell & J. J. Johnson (tb) Ed Powell, Tom Pashley, Romeo Penque, Phil Bodner (sax) Mal Waldron (p) Barry Galbraith (g) Milt Hinton (b) Don Lamond (d) Billie Holiday (v) Brad Spinney(xyl) J. Putman (harp) + strings and choir, released on the album Lady in Satin, June 1958
Chris Connor — from the 1959 LP Sings Ballads of the Sad Cafe, Atlantic SD 1307, Atlantic 1307
Wes Montgomery: guitar
Mel Rhyne: organ
Paul Parker: drums
Dexter Gordon — recorded on 9 May 1961 — Dexter Gordon (tenor saxophone); Kenny Drew (piano); Paul Chambers (bass); Philly Joe Jones (drums) – album: Dexter Calling…, 1961
Maysa — from Maysa Sings Songs Before Dawn, released in 1961
Nat King Cole with orchestra conducted by Gordon Jenkins — from the 1963 album Where Did Everyone Go?, Capitol W 1859* (Mono), Capitol SW 1859 (Stereo); album recorded on 13-14 August 1962; arrangements by Gordon Jenkins — Cole sings a small portion of the verse, with the words modified.
For some reason this recording evidently appeared as one of three bonus tracks on the CD reissue of the 1957 Cole album Love Is the Thing, which led me to mistakenly believe that it had been recorded in 1956 during the sessions for that album.** This why I had previously placed it ahead of the Billie Holiday recording in the page.
Julie London — from her 1963 LP Love On the Rocks, Liberty LST 7249
Gloria Lynne – from I Wish You Love, 1967
Jimmy Raney – recorded on 2 September 1975 – According to the video provider the track was added to the original material when the CD of Raney’s 1976 album Solo was issue, in 1991. But this track and another on the 1991 reissue, Suzanne, originally appeared on Raney’s debut record for Xanadu, The Influence, released in 1975.
The Real Deal Big Band — date unknown
The provider says, “…arranged by Willy Dalton–solos by Willy on guitar and Mike DiLorenzo on organ–band members included Vince Cherico, drums, and Irio O’Farrill, bass.”
* Discogs.com indicates that the catalog number of the Mono version has been variously issued as Capitol W1859, Capitol W 1859, and Capitol W-1859.
** Typically bonus tracks in reissues stem from the same sessions as the original tracks, but that wasn’t the case here. I hadn’t recognized that a. it wasn’t on the original album, Love Is the Thing, b. it wasn’t recorded during the two December 1956 sessions with Jenkins from which Love Is the Thing tracks were drawn, and c. it was, rather, a bonus track on a 1996 CD reissue of the album.