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.
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.