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'S Wonderful! (1927)

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Origin and Chart Information
典he appeal to jazz musicians is not the lyrics … so much as the repeated-note melody of the bridge combined with the riff-like melody in the A section.

- C. Andre Barbera

Rank 98
Music George Gershwin
Lyrics Ira Gershwin

The musical comedy Funny Face opened to rave reviews on November 22, 1927. That night Adele Astaire and Allen Kearns would introduce 湯S Wonderful! a song that would immediately bewitch the Alvin Theater audience.


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Funny Face starred comedian Victor Moore and the brother and sister team of Fred and Adele Astaire. Originally titled Smarty, the musical was overhauled after a disappointing opening at Philadelphia痴 Shubert Theatre. The new title was Fred Astaire痴 affectionate nickname for his sister.

With music and lyrics by George and Ira Gershwin and a book written by Fred Thompson and Paul Gerard Smith, the revamped musical would go on to enjoy a successful run of 244 performances. Included in the original score along with 鉄淡onderful! were hits such as 擢unny Face, 鏑et痴 Kiss and Make Up, 滴e Loves and She Loves, and 溺y One and Only (What Am I Gonna Do?)


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Immensely popular from the outset, 湯S Wonderful! hit the pop charts twice in 1928. Its first appearance of the year was courtesy of Frank Crumit who took it to fifth place that January. The song struck success again in March when an Ipana Troubadors recording reached twelfth place.


Chart information used by permission from
Joel Whitburn's Pop Memories 1890-1954

The Astaire siblings, on the other hand, were not to share in the same good fortune enjoyed by 鉄淡onderful. While vacationing in the summer of 1928 Fred was a passenger in a serious automobile accident, and Adele was badly burned in a boating accident, requiring weeks to recuperate in hospital. Despite the setbacks they were both in London that fall for another 263 performances of Funny Face.

The 1957 Paramount film Funny Face is generally well-reviewed and was based on an unproduced play named Wedding Day and also starred Fred Astaire, this time with Audrey Hepburn. The songs were mostly Gershwin, four of which were in the original show.

More information on this tune...

Philip Furia
The Poets of Tin Pan Alley: A History of America's Great Lyricists
Oxford University Press; Reprint edition
Paperback: 336 pages

(Furia analyzes the lyric.)

Alec Wilder
American Popular Song: The Great Innovators, 1900-1950
Oxford University Press; Reprint edition
Hardcover: 576 pages

(Wilder analyzes the music.)

- Jeremy Wilson

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