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We'll Be Together Again (1945)

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Origin and Chart Information
“This song is a great illustration of pop ballad sophistication and its difference in character from a theater ballad.”

- Alec Wilder

Rank 241
Music Carl Fischer
Lyrics Frankie Laine

Pianist and songwriter Carl Fischer met vocalist Frankie Laine in the early ‘40s and soon became his pianist and musical director. During the early years of Laine’s career he performed more jazz material than he did after hitting the big time in 1946 with his recording of “That’s My Desire,” which set the stage for the soulful, bluesy vocalists who would follow the crooners.

In 1945 Fischer showed Laine a song that he had written and asked Laine to write a lyric for it. Although they recorded “We’ll Be Together Again” that year, a rendition by the vocal group the Pied Pipers was released first. While the song didn’t chart, it has remained a solid favorite over the years.

 

More on Frankie Laine at JazzBiographies.com
 
 

More on Carl Fischer at JazzBiographies.com
 

Fischer and Laine collaborated on several other songs in the ‘40s and ‘50s, including “What Could Be Sweeter?” (1948), “Baby, Just for Me” (1949), and “When You’re in Love” (1952), none of which have enjoyed the longevity of “We’ll Be Together Again.”.

The reassuring lyric which Laine set to Fischer’s lovely melody is reminiscent of the war years when lovers and families were torn apart:

No tears, no fears
Remember, there’s always tomorrow
So what if we have to part
We’ll be together again

In his book American Popular Song: The Great Innovators, 1900-1950 Alec Wilder says, “This song is a great illustration of pop ballad sophistication and its difference in character from a theater ballad. For example, can you imagine Kern or Rodgers or even Gershwin writing such a song? Perhaps Arlen, but no one else. Berlin wrote a somewhat similar song for a show but not with such sophistication.”

Many jazz musicians have recorded “We’ll Be Together Again,” the title cut of an album from guitarist Pat Martino. The Adderley brothers, Cannonball and Nat, recorded it as did vocalists Billie Holiday, Jon Hendricks, Carmen McRae, and Tony Bennett in his famous duo with pianist Bill Evans. Another duo to record the song was guitarist Joe Pass with trombonist J. J. Johnson. Since 2000 various artists have featured the song on CD: drummer Cecil Brooks III, harmonica player Toots Thielemans, pop singer Rod Stewart, singer/songwriter Bob Dorough, and vocalist Jimmy Scott.

More information on this tune...

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


(Author/composer Wilder analyzes the music in his definitive book on American popular song.)

- Sandra Burlingame

Musicians' Comments

This song is truly a masterpiece. It’s not too overdone which is nice. The intervals are so delicious in the phrases because it truly works without being gratuitously difficult. The melody is sad but smart, and the lyric is kind and optimistic about having to leave someone you love. If delivered well, this song can bring an audience to a hush. Songs that tell a good story usually do. This was recorded on my very first CD and I kind of forgot about it when I started recording more and doing different material. Then, after 14 years, I rediscovered it and realized it should be in regular rotation in my performances. This song is beautiful to play and hear.

Amanda Carr, jazz vocalist/pianist
www.AmandaCarr.com


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Reading and Research
Additional information for "We'll Be Together Again" may be found in:

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


(2 paragraphs including the following types of information: music analysis.)

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


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

Multi-instrumentalist Benny Carter performed a number of standards on two great compact discs from the 1950s: 3,4,5 and Cosmopolite. Carter’s lovely tone and vibrato on alto sax are something of a rarity today, yet his graceful way has a timeless quality, as on his recording of “We’ll Be Together Again” from 1954.

Big, burley Ben Webster could be churlish and shouting on swinging numbers and the total opposite on ballads: mellow, with a breathy, sensuous sound. Backed by strings on this lovely ballad rendition from 1955 he turns into “Gentle Ben.”

Verve producer Norman Granz had the great presence of mind to record Louis Armstrong with strings. Pops’ version of the Carl Fisher-Frankie Laine tune is unbeatable, complete with engaging vocal and some very New Orleans-style blues playing on trumpet, recalling his work three decades earlier with the great blues singer Bessie Smith.

Chris Tyle - Jazz Musician and Historian


benny carter
3, 4, 5: the verve small group sessions
polygram records

iTunes
Ben Webster
Jazz ‘Round Midnight: Ben Webster
Polygram Records 17775

iTunes
Louis Armstrong
Jazz ‘Round Midnight: Louis Armstrong
Polygram Records 43422

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

Carl Fischer and Frankie Laine

Year Rank Title
1945 241 We'll Be Together Again

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