Sunday, November 8, 2009

Top 20 Greatest American Standard Love Songs Ever Written

It's time to update the "Top 20 Greatest American Standards Ever Written" based on reader input during the last month. Here are the changes:

Off the list:
1. Lush Life
2. This Bitter Earth
3. I Can't Get Started
4. It Never Entered My Mind
5. As Time Goes By

New On The List:
1. They Can't Take That Away From Me: George & Ira Gershwin
2. At Last: Mack Gordon & Harry Warren
3. All My Tomorrows: Jimmy Van Heusen & Sammy Cahn
4. In The Still Of The Night: Cole Porter
5. The Way You Look Tonight:Jerome Kern & Dorothy Fields

1. The Nearness of You
2. Here's That Rainy Day
3. Embraceable You
4. My Funny Valentine
5. What's New
6. The Very Thought Of You
7. Body and Soul
8. You've Changed
9. I've Got You Under My Skin
10. In The Still Of The Night
11. Over The Rainbow
12. Bewitched, Bothered, And Bewildered
13. Someone To Watch Over Me
14. Night And Day
15. At Last
16. They Can't Take That Away From Me
17. All My Tomorrows
18. All The Things You Are To Me
19. Misty
20. The Way You Look Tonight


  1. It is good to see "At Last" on the list (I like so many of the versions done by various artists). I assume that the Cole Porter "In The Still Of The Night" is not the same song done by the Five Satins. By the way, that is a nice painting, whose work is it?

  2. Hi Blues67, no argument from me or anyone else, I suspect about "At Last". I too also like lots of other covers of this song. Of course, the Etta James cover is hard to top. However check out Christina Aquilera's version on iTunes, it's as good as you can get. Many years ago, I got to know Christina because I insured her very first national tour. She was 16 at the time and told me that Etta James was her favorite singer and "At Last" was one of her favorite songs. One of the stops on the tour was at the Garden State Arts Center and I was really surprised when in the middle of her show, she sang "At Last". And what an outstanding performance. From that moment on I knew she was the real thing and would have real staying power in the music business and so she has!

    "In The Still Of The Night" is the song by Cole Porter but just by chance the song by the Five Satins of the same name would be on my list of the top 10 Rock and Roll Oldies of All TImes. Two great songs with the same title.

    The Oil Paintings that I have attached to some of my posts are mine. It's been one of my passions over the past 10 years. Thanks for asking about the paintings.

  3. I like the changes. Yes Cole Porter wrote the one and only "In the Still of the Night". There is good reason Cole Porter remains Sir Paul's favorite composer. Also very good to see "The Way You Look Tonight", and "They Can't Take That Away From Me" added, both truly deserve the honor. By the way the paintings are terrific!!

  4. I just had a discussion with Zelda about Cole Porter's "In The Still Of The Night" and wanted to share some information with my readers and Blues67. It turns out that the similar title song by the Five Satins has some legal history that I think will interest you. First the title of the song by the Five Satins as first published was, " In The Still Of The Nite". The word "nite" was intentionally misspelled to gain interest with the buying public. This marketing trick was way ahead of its time and has been used by many other groups since.

    In addition, it turns out that Cole Porter was not that happy about the use of the same title of his 1936 song. As a result the name of the Five Satins song released in 1956 was changed to, "I'll Remember, In The Still Of The Night" to differentiate it from the Cole Porter song.

    Neat information, thanks Zelda

  5. I have changed the title of this post to ," The 20 Greatest
    American Love Songs Ever Written". In reviewing the list it occurred to me that all of these great songs are about falling in love, falling out of love, missing love or ending love. I think that "Love" is at the heart of "The American Songbook", and it's what makes these songs so loved by not only Americans but by Romantics all over the world.


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