Nat King Cole

COVER vs ORIGINAL: ‘When I Fall In Love’

The song “When I Fall In Love” was originally recorded by Jeri Southern in 1952.

by Christopher Smith

The classic and much recorded “When I Fall In Love” was written by Edward Heyman (1907-1981) and Victor Young (1900-1956) and first recorded by American singer Jeri Southern (1926-1991) for the film ‘One Minute To Zero’, released to the cinema’s in April 1952. Looking for a hit, Heyman and Young asked a then rising singer and actress by the name of Doris Day (1922-2019) to record the song and it was duly released two months later in July, reaching No.20 on the US singles chart.

Perhaps the best known version, however, came in 1956 from the legendary Mr. Nat ‘King’ Cole (1919-1965) for his album “Love Is The Thing”. The song was released as a single reaching No.2 in the UK, although strangely, it was not released commercially in America.

Other versions have come from Johnny Mathis in 1959, Blues singer Etta Jones in 1960, The Lettermen in 1961, Donny Osmond in 1973 and Linda Ronstadt in 1984.

The song next received a big release through British singer Rick Astley in 1987. Having already racked up two massive hits with “Never Gonna Give You Up” and “Whenever You Need Somebody” (the title track of his debut album), Rick released his ‘crooner’ version at Christmas, peaking at No.2 in the UK as well as hitting the top ten all over Europe and in Australia. Once again, the song was not commercially released in the US, despite Rick having achieved a No.1 single and a No.1 album there only weeks before!

It was at this time that Nat’s 1956 version was re-released in the UK, this time charting at No.4 and making history, as two different versions of the same song spent the next three weeks inside the UK top ten!

Celine Dion was next to record the song for her album “The Colour Of My Love” in 1993. The song was recorded as a duet with British singer Clive Griffin and featured in the film ‘Sleepless In Seattle’. Their version went to No.23 in America, although it saw only limited release elsewhere internationally. Not to worry, “The Colour Of My Love” sold more than twenty million copies, so I’m sure Celine and her record company were not too worried about that!

The most notable version to come since then was from Nat’s own daughter, Natalie (1950-2015), herself a successful recording artist during the 1980’s. In 1996, she recorded the song as a virtual duet with her father for her album “Stardust”. Natalie had previously recorded the song on her own for her 1988 album “Everlasting” and ‘recorded’ “Unforgettable” with her late father in 1991, taking it high in the singles charts the world over.

But which version is the best?
JERI’s original, DORIS’ first release, NAT’s most famous, RICK’s smash hit, CELINE and CLIVE’s box office blockbuster or NAT and NATALIE’s sentimental duet?

Take a look at some of the other posts in this series and don’t forget to follow the playlist.

cover vs original

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Written by Christopher Smith

So perhaps you’ve read an article or two that I’ve written and wondered “just who is this character?”! Well I thought maybe it would be time to introduce myself and what I’m all about. Well it’s all about the music! Having been born in the late 1970’s I was heavily influenced by my parent’s love of ‘popular’ music and rock and roll of the 1950’s and 60’s. My Mother always said she should of married Elvis and my father was, and is still, in love with Sandie Shaw! But while my Dad’s tastes stopped in about 1967, my Mum carried on loving music throughout the 70’s, 80’s and beyond. My first memory was playing on the floor whilst my Mother was ironing one day with the radio on, and hearing ABBA’s “Super Trouper” dancing my nappy off to it! Maybe that’s where it all went wrong…?! Having been subjected to all and sundry in my infant years, I finally found my feet in the mid-1980’s and began ‘partying’ to the likes of Culture Club, Stevie Wonder(!), Elkie Brooks and Bananarama to name but a few! The year 1987 would have a profound effect on my listening tastes and from thereon in my life would be dominated with buying and listening to music. Any number of outstanding songs were released and listened to that year, most notably “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “La Isla Bonita”. That Summer my mind was completely taken over with music and sounds I’d never heard before and I was totally taken in by it all. My father would say “whaaar rubbish you got on naaaaao?” (I’m from Norfolk!) but I was hooked. And it continued so for the rest of the decade and the next. At the beginning of 1988 I ‘met’ my true love and the singer I’ve worshipped more than any other artist or group. You may know of her. She’s from Australia…! Aside from pop music, my tastes are many and varied and continues to grow and expand as I ‘mature’ in age. I’ve always been heavily interested in films and in particular the mechanics of film making and of course film music, so scores and subsequently orchestral music takes up a lot of my tastes and collection. 90’s dance and club tunes also takes up much of the space in my head and I’m surprised my brain has stopped shaking from the years of abuse it took being dragged to nightclubs, often three times a week in my 20’s! I find with each year that passes I regress back to my youth and of course the 1980’s. 80’s music dominates and the lust to see as many 80’s acts and singers play live now is insatiable. I’m still getting into the groove as much as every breath I take, but I’m never gonna give up listening to my heart and pumping up the volume, simply because I LOVE MUSIC…any kind of music!