Close Your Eyes — 1933
Close Your Eyes (Bernice Petkere)
1933 recordings include the following:
- 25 July 1933 – Freddy Martin and His Orchestra (vocal: Elmer Feldkamp)
- 21 September 1933 – Ruth Etting
- 1 December 1933 – Lew Stone and His Band (vocal: Al Bowlly)
- 7 December 1933 – Ray Noble and his Orchestra (vocal: Al Bowlly)
Second Hand Songs has added many recordings since I created this page, and as of 10 November 2014 lists 65 versions [update: 87 as of 5 March 2016]. However, they’re still missing a couple of 1933 recordings which I’ve included, those by Ruth Etting and Lew Stone. They’ve also yet to recognize the exquisite German lyric version recorded by The Comedian Harmonists, “Komm’ im Traum” (c. 1934), which you’ll find below.
I’ve also included a Swedish lyric version, absent from the Second Hand Songs inventory. Titled “Stjärnehär,” it was recorded in 1934 by Gösta Jonsson Orkester, with the vocal by the legendary Swedish singer, composer and enfant terrible, Johnny Bode.
Bernice Petkere bios:
Bernice Petkere (pronounced “pet care”) was born in Chicago to Canadian parents. She began as a performer in vaudeville. In a 1998 interview she said: “My mother started my aunt and me (I was five) as an act called ‘Baby Dolls’…on the Pantages Circuit.” As a teenager, Petkere sang with a dance band and became a pianist for Waterson, Berlin & Snyder, an important publishing company. She started writing music in the 1920s…
She often wrote the lyrics as well as the music. One of her most successful songs, “Close Your Eyes,” was an international sensation in 1933 and is considered a “standard.” The on-going play between major and minor chords gives this song a distinct personality. Several of Petkere’s songs have this melancholy minor feeling to them. When asked if she was reflecting the tenor of the Depression in her music, she said absolutely not — it was just her “thing” then. [read more]
Freddy Martin and His Orchestra, vocal by Elmer Feldkamp – recorded 25 July 1933
Ruth Etting — recorded in Los Angeles, California on 21 September 1933
Lew Stone and His Band, vocal: Al Bowlly — recorded in Chelsea, London, on 1 December 1933; issued on (UK) Decca F 3783
Ray Noble and his Orchestra, vocal: Al Bowlly — recorded in London on 7 December 1933; issued on (UK) HMV B.6441, b/w “Did You Ever See a Dream Walking?” (m. Harry Revel, w. Mack Gordon)
The Comedian Harmonists — German lyric version: “Komm’ im Traum” (lyric credited to The Comedian Harmonists) — 1934?
In 1927, unemployed actor Harry Frommermann was inspired by The Revelers, a jazz-influenced popular vocal group from the United States, to create a German group of the same format. According to Douglas Friedman’s 2010 book “The Comedian Harrmonists” in August 1929 both groups appeared on the same bill at the Scala in Berlin and became good friends. Frommermann held auditions in his flat on Stubenrauchstraße 47 in Berlin-Friedenau, and, once the group was assembled, it quickly began rehearsals. After some initial failures, the Harmonists soon found success, becoming popular throughout Europe, visiting the United States, and appearing in 21 films.
Profiles of The Comedian Harmonists:
See also our page: The Revelers and The Comedian Harmonists
Gösta Jonsson Orkester, vocal: Johnny Bode — Swedish version, “Stjärnehär,” with lyric by Berndt Carlberg, under the pseudonym Berco — recorded in September 1934; issued on (Sweden) Sonora 2085, c/w “Hjulets sång (Wagon Wheels)”
Jean Carson with orchestra conducted by Reg Owen — issued in 1955 on the 78 rpm single HMV Records POP. 124, c/w “In Love for the Very First Time”
- Vintage Gramophone Records (Gramophone.co)
- Singles Discography for (UK) HMV Records POP series 101-1000 (globaldogproductions.info)
Humphrey Lyttelton and His Band — issued in 1956 on the 10″ 78 rpm single (UK) Parlophone R 4184, as the B-side of “Bad Penny Blues” (Lyttelton)
Gene Ammons Quintet — recorded on 16 June 1960 at Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ; released on the Gene Ammons LP Boss Tenor, Prestige PRLP 7180
Gene Ammons (ts)
Tommy Flanagan (p)
Doug Watkins (b)
Art Taylor (d)
Ray Barretto (cga)
- The André Previn trio
Nancy Wilson — final track on her 1966 LP Tender Loving Care, Capitol Records ST 2555, arranged by Billy May — note: The track in the video is 7 seconds shorter than that on either Tender Loving Care or the compilation noted by the provider.
Kurt Elling — title and initial track on his debut studio album, released in 1995