Buttons and Bows
"Buttons and Bows" is a popular song. The music was written by Jay Livingston with lyrics by Ray Evans. The song was published in 1947. The song was written for and appeared in the Bob Hope and Jane Russell film, The Paleface, and won the Academy Award for Best Original Song. It was originally written with an Indian theme, but was changed when the director said that would not work in the movie. It was a vocal selection on many radio programs in late 1948. It was reprised in the sequel, "Son of Paleface" by Roy Rogers, Jane Russell and Bob Hope. In 2004 it finished #87 in AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs survey of the top tunes in American cinema.
The most popular version of the song was recorded by Dinah Shore in 1947 and reached the charts the following year. Charting versions of the song were also recorded by The Dinning Sisters, Betty Rhodes, Evelyn Knight, and Betty Garrett the same year. In addition, the song was recorded by Gene Autry and by Geraldo and his orchestra (with vocalist Doreen Lundy).
Recording and chart history
- The Dinah Shore version was recorded on November 30, 1947, and released by Columbia Records as catalog number 38284. The record first reached the Billboard charts on September 17, 1948, and lasted 24 weeks on the chart, peaking at number one.
- The Dinning Sisters' version was recorded on December 29, 1947, and released by Capitol Records as catalog number 15184. The record first reached the Billboard charts on October 22, 1948, and lasted 16 weeks on the chart, peaking at number seven.
- The Betty Garrett version was recorded on December 29, 1947, and released by MGM Records as catalog number 10244. The record first reached the Billboard charts on November 5, 1948, and lasted two weeks on the chart, peaking at number 27.
- The Betty Rhodes version was released by RCA Victor Records as catalog number 20-3078. The record first reached the Billboard charts on November 12, 1948, and lasted six weeks on the chart, peaking at number 15.
- The Evelyn Knight version was recorded on November 29, 1947, and released by Decca Records as catalog number 24489. The record first reached the Billboard charts on November 12, 1948, and lasted six weeks on the chart, peaking at number 22.
- The Gene Autry version was recorded in December 1947, and released by Columbia Records as catalog number 20469.
- Bob Hope and The Clark Sisters recorded the song on October 14, 1948. It was released on Capitol 15292.
- The Geraldo/Doreen Lundy version was recorded on November 10, 1948, and released by Parlophone Records as catalog number F 2326.
- The Connie Francis version was recorded on April 27, 1962, at RCA Italiana Studios in Rome. It was originally intended for inclusion on the album Connie Francis Sings Award Winning Motion Picture Hits on MGM Records E-/SE-4048. However, before the album was released in March 1963, the song was shelved and remained in the vaults unreleased until 1996.
- The Sum Sum 森森 (Hong Kong female singer/artist) versions were recorded in 1971 and 1974. The 1971 version was performed in Mandarin Chinese language with Chinese lyrics written by Szeto Ming (司徒明) and given the title name of 莫奔跑, appearing on her LP album 一寸相思一寸淚 (Bitter Love In Tears), and released by EMI Regal Records as catalog number LRHX-849. For the 1974 version, it was performed in Cantonese language with Chinese lyrics (different from the 1971 one) written by So Yung (蘇翁) and given the title name of 不敢再領教, appearing on her LP album 森森 Sum Sum, and released by EMI Regal Records as catalog number S-LRHX-1002.
- The Ervinna (Singapore-based female singer) With Charlie & His Boys version was recorded between 1972 and 1974, appearing on her LP album Golden Hits Of 20th Century Vol. 4, and released by White Cloud Record of Singapore as issue number EALP-1231.
- The John Inman version was recorded in 1975, appearing on his LP album Are You Being Served Sir?, and released by DJM Records UK catalog number DJLPS 468 and by Festival Records Australia catalog number L 35800.
- The haberdashery department is said to perform the song for Mr. Grace's birthday on the episode "Happy Returns" of Are You Being Served?
- The melody to "Buttons and Bows" was used as a character theme in the 1960s TV sitcom F Troop. It was frequently heard over the entrance of "Wrangler Jane", played by Melody Patterson.
- The song makes an appearance in "Look Before You Leap," an episode from the third season of Frasier (Series 3 Episode 8 - First Broadcast 1996). During a PBS pledge telethon, Frasier Crane (Kelsey Grammer) tries to perform it but forgets nearly all of the lyrics, much to the amusement of his father Martin Crane.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 134. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- Gilliland, John (1994). Pop Chronicles the 40s: The Lively Story of Pop Music in the 40s (audiobook). ISBN 978-1-55935-147-8. OCLC 31611854. Tape 4, side B.
- Whitburn, Joel (1973). Top Pop Records 1940-1955. Record Research.