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"Smoke Gets in Your Eyes"
"Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" - Gertrude Niendsen and Ray Sinatra (original 1933 recording).jpg
Single by Gertrude Niesen with Ray Sinatra and his Orchestra
RecordedOctober 13, 1933
Label Victor
Producer(s)Ray Sinatra

"Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" is a show tune written by American composer Jerome Kern and lyricist Otto Harbach for the 1933 musical Roberta. The song was sung in the Broadway show by Tamara Drasin. Its first recorded performance was by Gertrude Niesen, who recorded the song with orchestral direction from Ray Sinatra, Frank Sinatra's second cousin, [1] on October 13, 1933. Niesen's recording of the song was released by Victor, with the B-side, "Jealousy", featuring Isham Jones and his Orchestra. [2]

Paul Whiteman had the first hit recording of the song on the record charts in 1934. [3]

The song was reprised by Irene Dunne, who performed it in the 1935 film adaptation of the musical co-starring Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, and Randolph Scott. The song was also included in the 1952 remake of Roberta, Lovely to Look At, in which it was performed by Kathryn Grayson, and was a number 1 chart hit in 1959 for The Platters.

Later recordings


Benny Goodman and his orchestra perform with Peggy Lee.

Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra performed the song with vocals by Bob Lawrence. This version of the song topped music charts in 1934. [4] The Tommy Dorsey orchestra released their version in 1938. The B-side to Dorsey's single was " Night and Day". During the mid-to-late 1930s, Larry Adler and Henry Hall recorded live radio performances of the song on BBC Radio. Adler's rendition was a syncopated, harmonica arrangement. Hall's was with the BBC orchestra with vocals by Dan Donovan. Hall's version was released as a 10" single. [5] Pianist Art Tatum said in an introduction in 1955 that he performed "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" in the 1930s.

Andre Kostelanetz recorded an easy listening arrangement of the song for Columbia Masterworks (4265-M) in 1941. [6]

In 1941, the Benny Goodman Orchestra played the song on the radio with Helen Forrest. Forrest left the ensemble during the early part of 1941. [7] Goodman replaced her with Peggy Lee. [8] Her recording for a Mutual broadcast was released on the album Benny and Sid Roll 'Em. Glenn Miller conducted his rendition of the song at Abbey Road Studios in 1944, but due to his death later that year, his version was unreleased until 1995. [9]

On October 30, 1946, Nat "King" Cole recorded the song in his trio with Oscar Moore on guitar and Johnny Miller on double bass, during a live broadcast from New York City. [10] Cole performed it on television in 1957 for The Nat King Cole Show.

External audio
audio icon You may hear Smoke Gets In Your Eyes performed by Andre Kostelanetz in 1941
Here on

Harry Belafonte made a recording of the song in 1949 with jazz saxophonist Zoot Sims. This was one of Belafonte's first recordings. Sims' performance was parodied on December 10, 1977, on The Muppet Show by Zoot from Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem, the character he inspired.

The song was covered by Nat King Cole (left), Jo Stafford (center), and Sarah Vaughan (right).

In 1950, Charlie Parker and Jo Stafford each released versions of the song on their respective albums, Bird at St. Nick's and Autumn in New York. Eartha Kitt recorded the song for her 1954 album That Bad Eartha. Dinah Washington released the song in 1956 on her album Dinah!. Jeri Southern named her 1957 album When Your Heart's On Fire after a lyric from the song; the album features her version of the song. The same year as Nat King Cole's televised performance of the song, Polly Bergen performed the song during the series premiere of her variety show The Polly Bergen Show, originally airing September 21, 1957. [11] In 1958, Sarah Vaughan released her rendition on her album, No Count Sarah. Eartha Kitt recorded "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" with the Henri Rene Orchestra in 1952. These sessions also yielded her hit single " Santa Baby".

The Platters version

"Smoke Gets in Your Eyes"
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes - The Platters.jpg
Single by The Platters
from the album Remember When?
B-side"No Matter What You Are"
ReleasedNovember 1958 (1958)
Genre Doo-wop
Label Mercury
Composer(s) Jerome Kern
Lyricist(s) Otto Harbach
Producer(s) Buck Ram [12]
The Platters singles chronology
"I Wish"
"Smoke Gets in Your Eyes"
" Enchanted"

"Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" was recorded in 1958 by The Platters for their album Remember When? The group's version became a number one hit in the U.S. on the Billboard Hot 100 music chart. In 1959 it peaked at No. 3 on the Rhythm and Blues chart. [13] The song spent 20 weeks on the UK charts, peaking at Number 1 for one week on March 20 of that same year. [14] Buck Ram, the producer, said that Harbach praised them "for reviving his song with taste." [12] The widow of composer Jerome Kern disliked the recording so much she considered legal action to prevent its distribution. [15]

Chart history

Blue Haze version

"Smoke Gets in Your Eyes"
Single by Blue Haze
from the album Blue Haze
B-side"Anna Rosanna"
Genre Doo-wop
Label A&M
Composer(s) Jerome Kern
Lyricist(s) Otto Harbach
Producer(s) Johnny Arthey & Phillip Swern
Blue Haze singles chronology
"Smoke Gets in Your Eyes"
" You'll Never Walk Alone"

Johnny Arthey's studio group Blue Haze released a version of "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" as a single in 1972, and on the album Blue Haze the following year. Their version was an international hit, reaching the top 10 in Belgium, the Netherlands, and on Billboard's Easy Listening chart.

Chart performance

Chart (1972) Peak
Australia ( Go-Set) [28] 30
Canada ( RPM 100) [29] 13
Flanders [30] 2
Netherlands (Hilversum 3 Top 30) [31] 4
Netherlands ( Veronica Top 40) [32] 4
UK Singles Chart [33] 32
US Billboard Hot 100 [33] 27
US Billboard Easy Listening [34] 5
US Cash Box Top 100 [35] 21
US Record World The Singles Chart [36] 14
Wallonia [37] 9
West Germany [38] 42

See also


  1. ^ Ray Sinatra: Frank's cousin,, retrieved July 25, 2014
  2. ^ Victor 24454: Gertrude Niesen and Isham Jones – Smoke Gets In Your Eyes / Jealousy,, retrieved July 24, 2014
  3. ^ Gioia, Ted (2012). The Jazz Standards: A Guide to the Repertoire. New York City: Oxford University Press. pp. 371–373. ISBN  978-0-19-993739-4.
  4. ^ Tsort. "Song artist 12 - Paul Whiteman".
  5. ^ Henry Hall Orch - Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, Internet Archive, retrieved July 24, 2014
  6. ^ "Smoke gets In Your Eyes" performed by Andre Kostelanetz in 1941 on
  7. ^ Great Encounters #24: When Peggy Lee Joined Benny Goodmans Band,, retrieved July 24, 2014
  8. ^ Peggy Lee official discography,, retrieved July 23, 2014
  9. ^ Missing Chapters, Vol. 5: The Complete Abbey Road Recordings, Allmusic, retrieved July 23, 2014
  10. ^ Nat King Cole: An Informal Discography (Sessions of 1946),, retrieved July 24, 2014
  11. ^ "The Polly Bergen Show". Classic Television Archives. Retrieved January 9, 2011.
  12. ^ a b Buck Ram interviewed on the Pop Chronicles (1969)
  13. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942–2004. Record Research. p. 463.
  14. ^ Frith, Simon; Gillett, Charlie (1976). Rock File 4. Panther Books Ltd. p. 388.
  15. ^ Fred Bronson, The Billboard Book of Number One Hits, Billboard Publications, 1985, p. 48.
  16. ^ "CHUM Chart Archives – January 12, 1959". CHUM. Retrieved July 5, 2022.
  17. ^ " The Platters – Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
  18. ^ " The Platters – Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" (in French). Ultratop 50. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
  19. ^ " The Platters – Smoke Gets in Your Eyes" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
  20. ^ Platters - Full Official Chart History, Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 5, 2021.
  21. ^ "The Platters Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
  22. ^ Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs - Smoke Gets in Your Eyes The Platters Chart History, Retrieved June 19, 2018.
  23. ^
  24. ^ "Top 20 Hit Singles of 1959". Retrieved March 26, 2020.
  25. ^
  26. ^ Cash Box Year-End Charts: Top 100 Pop Singles, December 26, 1959
  27. ^ "Billboard Hot 100 60th Anniversary Interactive Chart". Billboard. Archived from the original on June 16, 2020. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  28. ^ " GO-SET National Top 40", August 5, 1972. Retrieved March 4, 2021.
  29. ^ " RPM 100", RPM, Volume 18, No. 4, September 9, 1972. Retrieved March 5, 2021.
  30. ^ Blue Haze – Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, Ultratop. Retrieved March 5, 2021.
  31. ^ Blue Haze – Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, Dutch Charts. Retrieved March 5, 2021.
  32. ^ Blue Haze – Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, Media Markt Top 40. Retrieved March 5, 2021.
  33. ^ a b Smoke Gets in Your Eyes By: Blue Haze, Retrieved March 5, 2021.
  34. ^ " Easy Listening", Billboard. January 13, 1973. p. 22. Retrieved March 5, 2021.
  35. ^ " Cash Box Top 100", Cash Box. December 26, 1970. Retrieved March 5, 2021.
  36. ^ " The Singles Chart", Record World. January 27, 1973. Retrieved March 5, 2021.
  37. ^ Blue Haze – Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, Ultratop. Retrieved February 15, 2018.
  38. ^ Blue Haze – Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, Retrieved March 5, 2021.

External links