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I Fall in Love Too Easily (1944)

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Origin and Chart Information
“Sailor Frank Sinatra mournfully sang [the song] as he played the piano on the large stage of the deserted Hollywood Bowl....”

- Thomas S. Hischak

Rank 300
Music Jule Styne
Lyrics Sammy Cahn

Composer Jule Styne and lyricist Sammy Cahn wrote “I Fall in Love Too Easily” for the 1945 film Anchors Aweigh which was a big success for the MGM studio. Co-star Frank Sinatra, who had enjoyed several hits with Styne/Cahn songs, requested that they write the songs for the film in which he introduced the Oscar-nominated song “I Fall in Love Too Easily.” The picture won the Oscar for Best Music and Scoring of a Musical Picture (George E. Stoll). (The movie title is also the title of the song of the United States Navy, composed in 1906 by Charles A. Zimmerman with lyrics by Alfred Hart Miles.)

 

More on Jule Styne at JazzBiographies.com
 
 

More on Sammy Cahn at JazzBiographies.com
 

In 1945* Eugenie Baird with Mel Torme’s Mel-Tones and the Tony Pastor Orchestra took the song to the charts for one week where it peaked at #17. Although his version did not chart, Sinatra recorded the song in 1946 with the orchestra of Axel Stordahl.

(*The date is listed as 1943 in Joel Whitburn’s Pop Memories 1890-1954: The History of American Popular Music.)

 

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

In the film Sinatra and Gene Kelly play sailors on leave who meet an aspiring singer played by Kathryn Grayson. Sinatra, a self-confessed bumbling lover, falls for Grayson, and, under the tutelage of ladies man Kelly, he tries to win her affection by offering to get her an audition with a music producer played by Jose Iturbi. The problem is that Iturbi is unknown to either of the sailors. After a few twists and turns of plot, Grayson gets the audition, Kelly gets Grayson, and Sinatra falls for fellow Brooklynite played by Pamela Britton. The film is famous for Kelly’s dance with cartoon character Jerry, the mouse from the Tom and Jerry series.

In The American Musical Film Song Encyclopedia Thomas S. Hischak says, “‘I Fall in Love Too Easily’ is the bewitching ballad...admitting that one’s heart should be ‘well schooled’ in matters of love. Sailor Frank Sinatra mournfully sang it as he played the piano on the large stage of the deserted Hollywood Bowl....”

The lyric perfectly describes the situation--Sinatra’s sudden infatuation with Grayson and his lack of experience in matters of love:

I fall in love too easily
I fall in love too fast
I fall in love too terribly hard
For love to ever last

It is apparent that Grayson, who does not share his infatuation, is not the right girl for him. But perhaps this disappointing experience is just what he needs to prepare him for the right girl when he meets Britton, who promises compatibility and true love.

“I Fall in Love Too Easily” was recorded by Miles Davis in 1963 and 1965; Shirley Horn in a tribute to Miles; trumpeter/vocalist Chet Baker; pianist Bill Evans; and Sammy Cahn himself. Pianists Brad Mehldau and Jacky Terrasson, trumpeter Till Bronner, and guitarist Ralph Towner recorded it in the ‘90s. Since 2000 it has been recorded by vocalists Diane Schuur, Claudia Acuna, and Patricia Barber; the saxophone/piano duo of Jon Gordon and Bill Charlap; drummer Winard Harper; guitarist Romero Lubambo; and pianists Fred Hersch and Christian Jacob.

More information on this tune...

Susan Sackett
Hollywood Sings!: An Inside Look at Sixty Years of Academy Award-Nominated Songs
Pub Overstock Unlimited Inc
Paperback: 332 pages


(Sackett tells the history of the song in her entertaining book on Oscar nominees and winners.)
See the Reading and Research panel below for more references.

- Sandra Burlingame

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Reading and Research
Additional information for "I Fall in Love Too Easily" may be found in:

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


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

Susan Sackett
Hollywood Sings!: An Inside Look at Sixty Years of Academy Award-Nominated Songs
Pub Overstock Unlimited Inc
Paperback: 332 pages


(6 paragraphs including the following types of information: history.)

Robert Gottlieb, Robert Kimball
Reading Lyrics
Pantheon
Hardcover: 736 pages


(Includes the following types of information: song lyrics.)

Gary Giddins
Visions of Jazz: The First Century
Oxford University Press; New Ed edition
Paperback: 704 pages


(1 paragraph including the following types of information: performers and style discussion.)
Also on This Page...

Musician's Comments
Reading & Research

Jazz History Notes
By the Same Writers...

Jazz History Notes

Chet Baker’s smooth vocals and his seamless trumpet playing were a hit with the “beat” generation of the 1950s, yet they still hold up today as fine examples of great jazz. Chet’s version of “I Fall in Love Too Easily” from 1954 is a classic.

Pianist Bill Evans exerted an incredible influence on jazz pianists, and it’s easy to understand. His ballad work, especially, is monumental, as evidenced by his 1962 recording of “I Fall in Love....”

There are those who maintain that Chet Baker got most of his style from Miles Davis. Certainly it is conceivable, but listening to Miles’ version of “I Fall in Love...” demonstrates that his concept was quite different. Davis’ rendition of the tune from 1963 is in his usual ballad mode where he uses the Harmon mute to great effect.

Chris Tyle - Jazz Musician and Historian


Chet Baker
The Best of Chet Baker Sings
Blue Note Records 92932

iTunes
Bill Evans Trio
Moon Beams
Ojc
Original recording 1962
iTunes
Miles Davis
Love Songs
Sony 65853

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

Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne

Year Rank Title
1947 131 Time After Time
1944 300 I Fall in Love Too Easily
1948 372 It's You or No One
1945 554 Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
1948 689 It's Magic
1944 735 I'll Walk Alone
1946 785 The Things We Did Last Summer
1945 962 It's Been a Long, Long Time

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