When Sunny Gets Blue


When Sunny Gets Blue (m. Marvin Fisher, w. Jack Segal)

Johnny Mathis with Ray Conniff and his Orchestra — originally issued on 5 November 1956 on the single Columbia 4-40784, as the B-side of “Wonderful! Wonderful!”


June Christy – from her 1957 album Fair and Warmer!


Nat King Cole – from the 1957 album Love is the Thing


Charlie Rouse Quartet — recorded on 13 July 1961 in NYC; released on the LP We Paid Our Dues!, Epic LA 16018, an album on which half the tracks were recorded by the Charlie Rouse Quartet, and the other half by the Seldon Powell Quartet

Charlie Rouse (ldr, ts)
Gildo Mahones (p)
Reggie Workman (b)
Arthur Taylor (d)


Nancy Wilson — from the album Hello Young Lovers, released in 1962


Sarah Vaughan — from the 1962 album Sarah + 2

Vaughan’s interpretation is unusual in that her “Sunny” is a man. But it becomes even more so since the lover who doesn’t come to call (though the lover referred to could be, in this case, Sunny himself) retaining the gender of the original lyric, is also a man.


Donald ByrdAt the Half Note, Vol. 2, 1960


Mel Tormé – accompanying himself on piano during an episode of Ralph Gleason’s Jazz Casual TV series, orig. air date 2 May 1964


Lesley Gore — 1964 performance for an unidentified television show


Barbra Streisand – from her 1967 album Simply Streisand


Anita O’Day – album: I Get a Kick Out of You, 1975


Judy Garland

According to The Judy Room, When Sunny Gets Blue was the last recorded song sung by Judy Garland. They provide the following audio file and description:

06-16-69: This is the last known recording of Judy singing prior to her death on June 22nd [1969]. That’s her husband, Mickey Deans, on the piano and also heard feeding the lyrics to “When Sunny Gets Blue” to Judy. Anita O’Day is also present, chatting with Judy and singing a bit of “The Lady Is A Tramp.”

(below, audio only) portion of the 16 June 1969 rehearsal recording featuring a run-through of “When Sunny Gets Blue” (video provided by Michele Bell). Garland died six days later.


I was only joking, your honor

The composers of the song “When Sunny Gets Blue” claimed that their song was infringed by “When Sonny Sniffs Glue,” a 29-second parody that altered the original lyric line and borrowed six bars of the song. A court determined this parody was excused as a fair use. Important factors: Only 29 seconds of music were borrowed (not the complete song).

See also a detailed case summary at the website Open Jurist, here: Fisher v. Dees, 794 F.2d 432 (9th Cir. 1986


8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. John Behle
    Jan 03, 2014 @ 02:16:38

    I’m here on a snowy morning in Maryland. Just listened to the rendition by Anita O’Day–made me shiver even more. I’m lovin’ that I just discovered this new site, songbook.



  2. SoSaysSunny
    Aug 11, 2015 @ 04:05:50

    I was named (in part) for this song’s title character. So nice to find several renditions in one place.



  3. Trackback: Wherefore Sunny? | SoSaysSunny
  4. Sandy Dileo
    Oct 31, 2016 @ 01:53:46

    Does anyone know if there is a transcription of Light Jazz Academy version? (solo piano)



  5. KLR
    Dec 18, 2016 @ 17:42:54

    The version of this I always come back to was from a bunch of discs Joanie Summers made for radio broadcasts, the CD is called Look Out! Early 60s. There’s just something about it that knocks me out.



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