Till There Was You

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"Till There Was You"
Published1957 by Frank Music
Songwriter(s) Meredith Willson

"Till There Was You" is a show tune written in 1950 by Meredith Willson, originally entitled "Till I Met You." It was originally recorded October 25, 1950, by Meredith Willson & his Orchestra and Eileen Wilson. The song was retitled and used in his musical play The Music Man (1957), and also appeared in the 1962 movie version. It is sung by librarian Marian Paroo (performed by Barbara Cook on Broadway, and by Shirley Jones in the film) to "Professor" Harold Hill (portrayed on Broadway and in the film by Robert Preston) toward the end of Act Two.

In 1959, the song became the first of four US Top 40 hits for Anita Bryant. [1] "Till There Was You" was recorded by the Beatles in 1963.


The first recording of the song to be released was produced by Nelson Riddle, featuring his orchestra and 17-year-old vocalist Sue Raney. Promotional copies of the 45 rpm single, Capitol P3847, were released on November 26, 1957, even before the Broadway production had premiered on December 19, 1957, and a month ahead of the original cast album.

An earlier version of this song, "Till I Met You", was first recorded by Eileen Wilson in 1950 and later appeared on the January 14, 1951, edition of The Big Show, performed by Fran Warren.

Anita Bryant version

"Till There Was You"
Till there was you by anita bryant US single (copy 1).png
US single of Anita Bryant recording
Single by Anita Bryant
B-side"Little George (Got the Hiccoughs)"
ReleasedMay 1959
Genre Pop
LabelCarlton Records 512
Songwriter(s) Meredith Willson
Anita Bryant singles chronology
"Till There Was You"
"Six Boys and Seven Girls"

In 1959, American singer Anita Bryant recorded the song "Till There Was You" and released it as a single. Her version reached number 30 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart [1] and number 14 on the Cashbox Top 100. [2]

Chart performance

Chart (1959) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 [1] 30
U.S. Cash Box Top 100 [2] 14

The Beatles version

"Till There Was You"
Cover of the song's sheet music
Song by the Beatles
from the album With the Beatles
ReleasedNovember 22, 1963 (mono)
November 30, 1963 (stereo)
RecordedJuly 18 and 30, 1963
Studio EMI, London
Label Parlophone
Songwriter(s) Meredith Willson
Producer(s) George Martin
Audio sample
"'Til There Was You"

"Till There Was You" was recorded by the Beatles in 1963 and released on their second album With the Beatles (1963) (United Kingdom) and Meet the Beatles! (1964) (United States). It was the only song from a Broadway show released by the band.

The Beatles' version is sung by Paul McCartney, who is accompanied by George Harrison and John Lennon on dueling acoustic, classical guitars played in a Spanish style over a bolero bongo beat played by Ringo Starr. The song was produced by George Martin. Its guitar solo is by George Harrison. The widow of Meredith Willson, the composer of The Music Man, has stated that her husband's estate eventually received more income from the royalties of the Beatles recordings of "Till There Was You" than it originally received from the actual play.

Paul McCartney was introduced to Peggy Lee's 1961 cover of the song through his older cousin Bett Robbins, who would occasionally babysit the two McCartney brothers. [3] McCartney said that he "had no idea until much later" that it was from The Music Man. [4] The song was part of their pre-recording repertoire in 1962, and they performed it at the Star Club in Hamburg. [5] It became illustrative of the Beatles' versatility, proving that they could appeal to all sections of an audience, moving easily from softer ballads to harder rock and roll, as in their appearance on November 4, 1963, at the Royal Variety Performance when they followed this song with " Twist and Shout". [6]

The band had included "'Till There Was You" as part of their unsuccessful audition for Decca Records in London on January 1, 1962. [5] It was the second of five songs that they performed during their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show on February 9, 1964. During said performance, each of the Beatles were introduced by their first name via a subtitle, memorably ending with Lennon, who had the cheeky caption "Sorry girls, he's married:" under his name. [6] [7]

Live versions of the song were released on Live at the BBC (1994) and Anthology 1 (1995). A live performance by McCartney appears on his DVD The Space Within US (2006). In 2016, the BBC announced that a "holy grail" Beatles record would be auctioned in March of that year, a private pressing which features "Hello Little Girl" and "Till There Was You" and was valued at over £10,000. [8] It was said to be one of the "rarest and most collectable of all Beatles records" by Mark Lewisohn, one of the foremost authorities on the Beatles. The disc eventually sold for £77,500. [9]


Other versions


  1. ^ a b c "Hot 100 - Billboard", Billboard, August 17, 1959, retrieved September 25, 2018
  2. ^ a b "The CASH BOX Top 100 Singles". Cashbox. August 22, 1959. Retrieved February 22, 2019.
  3. ^ Ray Coleman (1998). McCartney: Yesterday . . . and Today. Boxtree Ltd. p. 25. ISBN  978-0788159350.
  4. ^ Ray Coleman (1998). McCartney: Yesterday . . . and Today. Boxtree Ltd. p. 26. ISBN  978-0788159350.
  5. ^ a b Bill Harry (2000). The Ultimate Beatles Encyclopedia. Mjf Books. p. 651. ISBN  978-1567314038.
  6. ^ a b "The Fab Four". The Beatles. November 4, 1963. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  7. ^ a b Ian MacDonald (2008). Revolution in the Head (Second ed.). Vintage. p. 80. ISBN  978-0099526797.
  8. ^ "'Holy Grail' Beatles record to be auctioned". BBC News. February 26, 2016. Retrieved August 29, 2016.
  9. ^ "'Holy Grail' Beatles record sold for £77,500 at auction". BBC News. March 22, 2016. Retrieved August 29, 2016.
  10. ^ UK Official Singles Chart, UK Official Charts Company, March 29, 1961, retrieved March 14, 2019
  11. ^ "Etta Jones - Something Nice". Allmusic. Retrieved February 15, 2019.
  12. ^ Scott Yanow. "Horn A-Plenty - Al Hirt | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved August 29, 2016.
  13. ^ "Nana Mouskouri - Nana Mouskouri in New York". Allmusic. Retrieved May 4, 2018.
  14. ^ "Valjean - Till There Was You / The Eighteenth Variation - London - UK - HLL 9593". 45cat.com. February 10, 2012. Retrieved August 29, 2016.
  15. ^ "Sergio Franchi - Broadway...I Love You (Vinyl, LP)". Discogs.com. June 2, 2014. Retrieved August 29, 2016.
  16. ^ ""Ally McBeal" Turning Thirty (TV Episode 2000) - IMDb" – via www.imdb.com.

External links