Alec Wilder: six early 1940s songs


Selected early songs written or co-written by Alec Wilder:

  • 1941 – It’s So Peaceful in the Country (Alec Wilder)
  • 1941 – Moon and Sand (Alec Wilder, Morty Palitz, William Engvick)
  • 1941 – Soft as Spring (Alec Wilder)
  • 1941 – Who Can I Turn To?  (m. Alec Wilder, w. William Engvick)
  • 1942 – I’ll Be Around (w. m. Alec Wilder)
  • 1943 – While We’re Young (m. Alec Wilder, Morty Palitz; w. William Engvick)


It’s So Peaceful in the Country (w.m. Alec Wilder)

See the separate page, here:

It’s So Peaceful in the Country


Moon and Sand (Alec Wilder, Morty Palitz, William Engvick)

Xavier Cugat and His Waldorf-Astoria Orchestra, vocal: Carmen Castillo — recorded on 26 August 1941; issued on the 78 rpm single Columbia 36381, c/w “Ma-Ma-Maria”

recording presently unavailable


Ellis Larkins — from his album Penthouse Hideaway, Decca DL 8947 (Mono), Decca DL 78947 (Stereo)

release date disagreement:

1957 –
1960 – Billboard Magazine – 13 June 1960 issue (p. 37),,,


Betty Blake — from her 1961* album Sings in a Tender Mood, Bethlehem Records BCP-6058


Kenny Burrell — from his 1965 LP Guitar Forms, Verve Records V6-8612; arranged and conducted by Gil Evans


Kenny Burrell Trio — c. 1990, from an episode of the television show Club Date, produced and directed by Paul Marshall for KPBS-TV, San Diego

Kenny Burrell – guitar
Bob Magnusson – bass
Sherman Ferguson – drums


Jackie Cain & Roy Kral — released on the 1990 LP An Alec Wilder Collection, Audiophile Records ACD-257; album recorded 17-19 July 1990, according to


Terje Gewelt with Christian Jacob — from the 2005 album Hope, (Norway) Resonant Music RM16-2


Nikoletta Szőke – 2006


Bernie Petteway Trio – undated live performance; published on YouTube, 13 September 2008


Soft as Spring (Alec Wilder)

Benny Goodman and his Orchestra, vocal: Helen Forrest – 1941


Helen Merrill with Hal Mooney and his Orchestra — recorded on 21 February 1957 in NYC; released on the 1957 album Merrill at Midnight, EmArcy ‎MG 36107

session personnel:
Helen Merrill – vocals
Hal Mooney – arranger, conductor
Marian McPartland – piano
Bill Mure – guitar
Milt Hinton – bass
Sol Gubin – drums
unidentified strings



David Allyn — from the 1981 LP Soft As Spring, Audiophile AP-155

personnel (from

  • David Allyn (v)
  • Loonis McGlohon (p)
  • Terry Lassiter, Jim Ferguson or Doug Burns (sb)
  • Jim Lackey or Bill Stowe (d)
  • Phil Thompson (ts)


Who Can I Turn To?  (m. Alec Wilder, w. William Engvick) – 1941

Tommy Dorsey and his Orchestra, vocal: Jo Stafford – recorded on 18 September 1941 (Victor matrix BS-067915), and issued 21 November 1941 on the 10-inch 78 rpm single Victor 27701, as the B-side of “I Think of You” (A-side vocal by Frank Sinatra)



Jeri Southern with the Dave Barbour Trio — originally released in December 1954 on the 10-inch album Warm…Intimate Songs in the Jeri Southern Style,  (US) Decca DL 5331, (UK) Brunswick ‎LA 8699


Anita Ellis – from her 1960 album The World in My Arms, Elektra EKL-179 (Mono), Elektra EKS-7179 (Stereo)


Bob Brookmeyer Quartet — recorded in NYC on 29 June 1961; released on the 1961 album 7 x Wilder, Verve Records V-8413, V6-8413

session instrumentation:

  • Bob Brookmeyer –  valve trombone, piano
  • Jim Hall – guitar
  • Bill Crow – bass
  • Mel Lewis – drums


Sheila Jordan — from her debut album Portrait of Sheila, Blue Note BLP 9002, released in 1962; the album was recorded at Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ on 19 September and 12 October 1962


Jo Stafford — from the 1963 LP Getting Sentimental Over Tommy Dorsey, on Reprise Records


Eileen Farrell — from the 1990 album Sings Alec Wilder, Reference Recordings RR-36



I’ll Be Around (Alec Wilder)

See the separate feature page:



While We’re Young (m. Alec Wilder, Morty Palitz; w. William Engvick)

See the separate feature page:


Seldom the Sun (Alec Wilder) —  instrumental for octet, recorded 17 July 1940; released on  the album Frank Sinatra Conducts the Music of Alec Wilder, 1946

Alec Wilder Octet members: Jimmy Carroll, Eddie Powell, Mitch Miller, Harold Goltzer, Reggie Merrill, Walter Gross, Gerry Gillis, Frank Carroll & Toots Mondello (according to Wikipedia)


* I’ve gone with the date given by, though there is disagreement among discographers, catalogers, and retailers regarding the release date of the Betty Blake album Sings in a Tender Mood, Bethlehem Records BCP-6058, as follows:

1960 —, iTunes
1961 —, Amazon
1962 —, Standard Catalog of American Records by Dave Thompson (2016), p. 129

Some of these sites suggest that the tracks on the album were recorded in either 1960 or 1961. However, the Jazz Discography Project ( indicates that the recording session or sessions for each of the tracks released on the album took place in NYC in late 1958. I haven’t corroborated that date elsewhere.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: There’s too much of everything but trees and hills | Songbook

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