This edition of Anatomy Of A Song offers up one that has always been a favorite of jazz musicians as an instrumental, but actually started life as a show tune. With a melody by Jerome Kern and words by Oscar Hammerstein II, “All the Things You Are” made its first appearance in the 1939 stage musical Very Warm for May.
Over the next few years a lot of orchestras issued records of the song, starting with Artie Shaw’s version (with a vocal by Helen Forrest) and closely followed by Glenn Miller and others. The song also began showing up in movies like Broadway Rhythm — you can see Ginny Simms singing an excerpt in the video below — and Till the Clouds Roll By, which featured Tony Martin’s very good rendition.
In the years since, “All the Things You Are” has become a classic, and has been recorded by just about everybody around. As an instrumental it has turned into a jazz standard, with outstanding versions around by everybody from Django Reinhardt to the Dave Brubeck Quartet. Some of the best vocal versions include those we’ve already mentioned, plus Ella Fitzgerald, Jo Stafford, and Ol’ Blue Eyes.
(Video removed at source.)