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There Will Never Be Another You (1942)

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Origin and Chart Information
“Trumpeter/vocalist Chet Baker’s vocal rendition from 1954 helped bring the number into a wider sphere than just jazz fans.”

- Chris Tyle

Rank 43
Music Harry Warren
Lyrics Mack Gordon

“There Will Never Be Another You” was one of the bright spots in Twentieth Century-Fox’s 1942 film Iceland. John Payne serenaded costar Sonja Henie with the song, and Joan Merrill sang it backed by Sammy Kay and His Orchestra.


More on John Payne at JazzBiographies.com

More on Joan Merrill at JazzBiographies.com

A modest hit at the time, “There Will Never Be Another You” appeared on the pop charts by:

  • Woody Herman and His Orchestra (1942, #23)
  • Sammy Kaye and His Orchestra (1943, Nancy Norman, vocal, #20)
  • Chris Montez (1966, #33)

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

With the production of Iceland, Twentieth Century-Fox was hoping to repeat the success of Sun Valley Serenade. Although the film company employed the same director, H. Bruce Humberstone, and cast the same leads, Sonja Henie and John Payne, the lavish production did not measure up to its predecessor. The film was even described as a “Wheezy old bore” by Clive Hirschhorn, author of Hollywood Musicals. Audiences, too, were indifferent, apparently not enamored of the lightweight plot revolving around a marine and a Reykjavik girl. On the positive side, the skating sequences are some of Henie’s best and the musical score, although uneven, had its own captivating moments, including “There Will Never Be Another You,” “You Can’t Say No To A Soldier” and “It’s a Lover’s Knot.”


More on Harry Warren at JazzBiographies.com

More on Mack Gordon at JazzBiographies.com

More information on this tune...

Allen Forte
Listening to Classic American Popular Songs
Yale University Press; Book & CD edition
Hardcover: 219 pages

(In six pages the author covers the history of the song, analyzes both the music and lyric, and includes the song lyric. The book also has a companion CD.)
See the Reading and Research panel below for more references.

- Jeremy Wilson

Music and Lyrics Analysis

At first blush, lyricist Mack Gordon’s sentiment in “There Will Never Be Another You” sounds complimentary and romantic, at least by virtue of its hook phrase. The verse tells a different tale, one emotionally mixed, of two lovers parting. The refrain describes the “other” nights, lovers, songs, seasons, and lips that lie in store, though “There Will Never Be Another You.”

The lyrics are unusual for a Tin Pan Alley song; the pure sweet sentiment seems out of place in the context of an impending breakup. In a 1940’s Hollywood film score, however, it makes perfect sense, the parting only a temporary diversion to create drama – with a happy ending being less than an hour away.

With its A-B1-A-B2 form, the enduring strength of “There Will Never Be Another You” is Harry Warren’s unusual melody. In general, each A section comprises two long sequences of ascending quarter notes. The B sections more or less invert the idea containing, in the main, three descending sequences of quarter notes. The overall feeling then is that of rising and falling, moderated by brief changes of direction, with no true bridge. -JW

Musical analysis of “There Will Never Be Another You”

Original Key Eb major
Form A – B1 –A – B2
Tonality Major throughout
Movement Primarily scale-wise in both directions; few skips and only one upward leap in the entire piece

Comments     (assumed background)

This melody’s careful construction is what makes it memorable: a sequence of two virtually identical phrases, the second one played diatonically a third higher than the first, is followed by two more phrases that roughly mirror the opening ones. This is a fairly easy tune to learn and memorize and is one of the first tunes learned by the novice jazz performer.

The harmonic progression of the first twelve measures is reminiscent of the “B” section of “Laura Lee” (a.k.a. “Love Me Tender”). Composer Warren, of course, uses chord substitutions – m7 and m7(b5) for secondary dominants – but the basic sequence (I – III7 – vi – I7 – IV –iv – I) is still intact. The last four measures of “B1” consist of a II7 – V7 turnaround returning to “A”, while “B2” uses IV – iv – I – iii – VI7 on its way out, skipping the ii7-V7 modulation and going directly back to I for the final four measures. The chords written in The Real Book are: Ebma7 – D7 – G7 – C7 in mm. 5-6 of “B2”; however, the melody here implies that Warren’s original changes were Ebma7 – Bb7(+5) – Eb6 – C7(+5) before ending on a ii7 – V7 – I cadence.

K. J. McElrath - Musicologist for JazzStandards.com

Check out K. J. McElrath’s book of Jazz Standards Guide Tone Lines at his web site (www.bardicle.com).
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Soundtrack information
“There Will Never Be Another You” was included in these films:
  • Iceland (1942, 1-John Payne, 2-Joan Merrill, Sammy Kaye and His Orchestra)
  • I’ll Get By (1950)
  • The World According to Garp (1982)
  • The Cemetery Club (1993, Etta Cox)
  • The Devil’s Own (1997)
  • That Old Feeling (1997, Keely Smith)
  • Kissing Jessica Stein (2002, Ernestine Anderson)
  • Anything Else (2003, Lester Young)
Reading and Research
Additional information for "There Will Never Be Another You" may be found in:

William Zinsser
Easy to Remember: The Great American Songwriters and Their Songs
David R. Godine Publisher
Hardcover: 279 pages

(1 paragraph including the following types of information: lyric analysis.)

Allen Forte
Listening to Classic American Popular Songs
Yale University Press; Book & CD edition
Hardcover: 219 pages

(6 pages including the following types of information: history, lyric analysis, music analysis and song lyrics. (Book includes CD).)

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

(1 page including the following types of information: music analysis.)

Allen Forte
The American Popular Ballad of the Golden Era, 1924-1950: A Study in Musical Design
Princeton University Press
Hardcover: 336 pages

(4 pages including the following types of information: history and music analysis.)

Thomas S. Hischak
The American Musical Film Song Encyclopedia
Greenwood Press
Hardcover: 536 pages

(1 paragraph including the following types of information: summary, music analysis and performers.)

Max Morath
The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Popular Standards
Perigee Books
Paperback: 235 pages

(1 paragraph including the following types of information: history and performers.)

Robert Gottlieb, Robert Kimball
Reading Lyrics
Hardcover: 736 pages

(Includes the following types of information: song lyrics.)
Also on This Page...

Music & Lyrics Analysis
Musician's Comments
Reading & Research

Jazz History Notes
Getting Started
CD Recommendations
Listen and Compare
By the Same Writers...

Jazz History Notes

After Woody Herman’s initial recording of this tune in 1942, it dropped out of sight until being picked up again vibraphonist Lionel Hampton’s big band in 1950. That same year, talented saxophonist Sonny Stitt would record a version on tenor sax. (After the death of Charlie Parker, Stitt concentrated on alto.) One of the players who inspired Stitt (especially on tenor), Lester Young, laid down a recording of his own with the Oscar Peterson Trio in 1952.

The piano genius Art Tatum’s version for Verve in 1953 includes the seldom-heard verse. Trumpeter/vocalist Chet Baker’s vocal rendition from 1954 helped bring the number into a wider sphere than just jazz fans. Indeed, the tune’s popularity continued with many subsequent jazz recordings.

Chris Tyle - Jazz Musician and Historian

Lionel Hampton
Lionel Hampton 1950
Classics 1193

Sonny Stitt
The Complete Prestige Sessions 1949-1950
Jazz Factory 22826

Lester Young, Oscar Peterson Trio
Lester Young with Oscar Peterson Trio

Chet Baker
Chet Baker: Young Chet
Blue Note Records 36194
Original recording, 1956, Pacific Jazz
Art Tatum
Art Tatum Solo Masterpieces, Vo. 2
Pablo 2405433

Getting Started
This section suggests definitive or otherwise significant recordings that will help jazz students get acquainted with “There Will Never Be Another You.” These recordings have been selected from the Jazz History and CD Recommendations sections.

“There Will Never Be Another You” has historically lent itself very well to performances by singers and players with the ability to swing light-heartedly. Chet Baker’s trumpet and vocals share the stage on his classic 1954 recording (Young Chet), swinging gently with his West Coast rhythm section. Count Basie’s 1956 version with the vocals of Joe Williams (The Greatest! Count Basie Plays, Joe Williams Sings Standards) has a very different feel from Baker’s, but shares the trait of lighthearted swing.

Noah Baerman - Jazz Pianist and Educator

CD Recommendations for This Tune
Click on any CD for more details at Amazon.com
Max Roach
Deeds, Not Words
1991 Original Jazz Classics 304
Original recording 1958
Max Roach was always one of the most melodic drummers in jazz. This duet with the brilliant and similarly groundbreaking bassist Oscar Pettiford is a good example of Roach’s melodic self-reliance.

- Noah Baerman

Count Basie with Joe Williams
The Greatest! Count Basie Plays, Joe Williams Sings Standards
Polygram Records

This is a match made in heaven as vocalist Joe Williams joins the Count Basie band. Williams is his usual exuberant self, his voice rich and sophisticated while the Basie crew swings with a vengeance.
Buddy Collette
Nice Day With Buddy Collette
1999, Polygram
Original recording, 1957, Original Jazz Classics
In an infectious, crisp version of “There Will Never Be Another You” Collette’s saxophone weaves in and out of the piano runs on this cool bop version.
Stan Getz
The Steamer
Polygram Records 547771
Original recording, 1956
Tenor saxophonist Getz sets the bar with this bouncy rendition. His velvet tone is complimented by a dynamite rhythm section of bassist Leroy Vinegar, pianist Lou Levy and drummer Stan Levey.
Sonny Rollins
Sonny Meets Hawk!
1999 Polygram 63479
Original recording 1963
Most of this album documents a meeting between Sonny Rollins and his idol, Coleman Hawkins. This track, however, features Rollins in a loose quartet with trumpeter Don Cherry. Rollins performed this song frequently and developed a deep, exploratory relationship with it.

- Ben Maycock

Written by the Same Composer(s)...
This section shows the jazz standards written by the same writing team.

Mack Gordon and Harry Warren

Year Rank Title
1942 43 There Will Never Be Another You
1945 312 I Wish I Knew
1946 315 This Is Always
1945 318 The More I See You
1942 693 Serenade in Blue
1942 869 At Last
1943 877 You'll Never Know
1941 914 Chattanooga Choo Choo

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