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I Get Along Without You Very Well (Except Sometimes) (1939)

Visitor Comments
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Origin and Chart Information
Rank 661
Words and Music Hoagy Carmichael

Here are the top ten...

Year Rank Title
1930 1 “Body and Soul”
1939 2 “All the Things You Are”
1935 3 “Summertime”
1944 4 “'Round Midnight”
1935 5 “I Can't Get Started (with You)”
1937 6 “My Funny Valentine”
1942 7 “Lover Man (Oh, Where Can You Be)”
1930 8 “What Is This Thing Called Love?”
1933 9 “Yesterdays”
1946 10 “Stella by Starlight”

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Musicians' Comments

I recorded this song with Roland Hanna on an album called You’re Nearer. Most of the songs were done with a quartet (Roland Hanna, Bob Brookmeyer, Ray Drummond, Terri Lyne Carrington), but the title song and this one, which ends the album, were just piano and voice. (This album on LP was originally recorded by Tono Records in 1986 and was reissued on CD in 1998.)

This was a tune requested of me by the producer, Ted Ono, and at first I resisted because although I loved the melody, I thought the lyric was sentimental. But I did it as an acting exercise, imagining the first few lines of each stanza as something brittle being spoken to another person, while the second part of the lyric, beginning with “Except when soft rains fall etc.” as thoughts to myself. This kept it from being too general (sentimental) and the more specific my thoughts became, the more emotion was released. It is one of my favorite songs now.

Nancy Harrow, jazz vocalist, composer

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Reading and Research
Additional information for "I Get Along Without You Very Well (Except Sometimes)" may be found in:

David Ewen
American Songwriters: An H.W. Wilson Biographical Dictionary
H. W. Wilson
Hardcover: 489 pages

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

Thomas S. Hischak
The Tin Pan Alley Song Encyclopedia
Greenwood Press
Hardcover: 552 pages

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

Richard M. Sudhalter
Stardust Melody: The Life and Music of Hoagy Carmichael
Oxford University Press
Hardcover: 432 pages

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

Robert Gottlieb, Robert Kimball
Reading Lyrics
Hardcover: 736 pages

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

Musician's Comments
Reading & Research

By the Same Writers...

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

Hoagy Carmichael

Year Rank Title
1929 437 “Rockin' Chair”
1939 661 “I Get Along Without You Very Well (Except Sometimes)”
1932 867 “New Orleans”

Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell

Year Rank Title
1930 44 “Georgia on My Mind”

Hoagy Carmichael and Johnny Mercer

Year Rank Title
1941 62 “Skylark”

Hoagy Carmichael and Mitchell Parish

Year Rank Title
1929 12 “Star Dust”

Hoagy Carmichael and Ned Washington

Year Rank Title
1937 64 “The Nearness of You”

Sidney Arodin and Hoagy Carmichael

Year Rank Title
1931 682 “Lazy River”

Hoagy Carmichael and Frank Loesser

Year Rank Title
1938 815 “Heart and Soul”
1938 817 “Two Sleepy People”

Hoagy Carmichael, Irving Mills, Mitchell Parish and Dick Voynow

Year Rank Title
1939 985 “Riverboat Shuffle”

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