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"Fly Me to the Moon" is a popular standard song written by Bart Howard in 1954. It was originally titled "In Other Words", and was introduced by Felicia Sanders in cabarets. The song became known popularly as "Fly Me to the Moon" from the first line of the B verse, and after a few years the publishers officially changed the title. Although the song has been recorded by many artists over the years, it is most closely identified with Frank Sinatra.
History of notable recordings
- Kaye Ballard recorded this song first. Her recording was released by Decca Records in 1954 on a 45 rpm record (catalog number 29114). Billboard said it was "a love song sung with feeling..." in a brief review published on 8 May 1954. The record included one other song "Lazy Afternoon", which Kaye Ballard was then singing in the stage musical The Golden Apple.
- Chris Connor recorded it in April 1955 for Bethlehem Records who released it on EP (catalog number BCP-127) in 1955 and on the LP Chris (catalog number BCP-56) in 1957.
- Portia Nelson recorded it for her album Let Me Love You (1956)
- Johnny Mathis also recorded it in 1956, which was the first time the title "Fly Me to the Moon" appeared on a record label.
- Eydie Gormé recorded the song in 1958 for her Grammy nominated album Eydie in Love (released by ABC Paramount in September 1958, catalogue number ABC/ABCS 246).
- Felicia Sanders recorded the song in 1959. (Released by Decca Records, catalog number 30937.)
- April Stevens recorded the song in 1960 on her album Teach Me Tiger. (Imperial 12055).
- Nancy Wilson featured the song on her 1960 album Like in Love (Capitol St 1319).
- Peggy Lee recorded the song for her 1960 album Pretty Eyes, released by Capitol Records in 1960.
- Peter Nero included a piano version of the song on his album Piano Forte, released in April 1961 (RCA Victor LPM2334).
- Nat King Cole recorded the song for the album Nat King Cole Sings/George Shearing Plays (1961). (Released on Capitol Records, catalog #1675)
- Sarah Vaughan recorded the song for her 1962 album You're Mine You. This album was orchestrated and conducted by Quincy Jones.
- Mel Tormé recorded the song in 1962 at live performance released by Atlantic on the album Mel Tormé at the Red Hill.
- Petula Clark recorded the song on her 1962 album In Other Words.
- Joe Harnell recorded an instrumental version in 1962, as "Fly Me to the Moon – Bossa Nova". This version became the biggest chart hit, reaching #14 (#4 easy listening) on the U.S. pop singles charts.
- Jazz drummer Roy Haynes, accompanied by Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Tommy Flanagan on piano, and Henry Grimes on double bass recorded the song as a brisk instrumental waltz for the album Out of the Afternoon (1962). (Released by Impulse! Records, AS-23.)
- Dinah Washington recorded it for her album In Love (1962)
- Joni James included it on her setlist for I Feel a Song Coming On (1962)
- Jack Jones recorded the song for his 1962 album Gift of Love (Kapp Records KS 3292).
- Count Basie included an instrumental version of the song, arranged by Quincy Jones, on his album This Time by Basie - Hits of the 50's & 60's!, released in January 1963 (Reprise Records catalog number R-6070).
- Brenda Lee performed this song on her album All Alone Am I, released in February 1963.
- Connie Francis recorded it in Italian as Portami con te (MGM K 2078), released in April 1963. She also recorded a Spanish version Llevame a la luna (MGM HT 057-78), released in 1963 also.
- Julie London included this song on her album The End of the World (June 1963). This version arranged by Ernie Freeman has a different introduction: a jazz pizzicato instrumental sequence and piano accompaniment.
- Anita O'Day featured the song on her LP Anita O'Day & The Three Sounds released by Verve Records in June 1963.
- Shirley Bassey recorded the song for her EP "In Other Words...", released by Columbia in July 1963.
- June Christy included the song on her album The Intimate Miss Christy, released by Capital in 1963 (catalog number ST-1953).
- Patti Page featured the song on her debut LP for Columbia Records, Say Wonderful Things (1963).
- Perry Como included the song on his 1963 album The Songs I Love.
- Earl Grant included an instrumental version of the song on an album entitled Fly Me to the Moon, released in late 1963 (Decca DL4454).
- Al Hirt released a version on his 1963 album, Honey in the Horn.
- Xavier Cugat recorded an instrumental version on the album Caricatures released in January 1964 (Mercury MG 20888 and SR-60888).
- Oscar Peterson recorded the song in February 1964 for the album The Oscar Peterson Trio Plays released that year by Verve (catalog number V/V6 8591). The Trio included the song on two live albums recorded later in 1964. Oscar Peterson recorded the song again in 1970 with a different trio for the album Tristeza on Piano (MPS catalog number 15275).
- Frank Sinatra recorded the best known version on the album It Might as Well Be Swing (1964), accompanied by Count Basie. This version was arranged by Quincy Jones who changed the time signature from 3/4 waltz-time to 4/4 and gave it a looser, swing feel. Sinatra also performed the song with Basie on Sinatra at the Sands (1966), and with bossa nova great Antonio Carlos Jobim on Duets II (1994).
- Neil Sedaka recorded a cover version of the song in 1964, but it was not released until 2003 when Bear Family Records issued its exhaustive Neil Sedaka anthology.
- Astrud Gilberto recorded the song for her album The Shadow of Your Smile, released in 1965 by Verve.
- Doris Day recorded the song for her album Latin for Lovers (released in 1965)
- Tony Bennett recorded the song in 1965, with minor success. Bennett also sang it through the 2000s in concert without any amplification or sound system.
- In 1965, the song was recorded by Heidi Brühl, a German singer/actress who later went to host her own Las Vegas Shows in the U.S. and appear on television shows, such as Marcus Welby, M.D., and Columbo.
- In 1965, recorded by Matt Monro for the album All My Loving.
- The Sandpipers also recorded the Spanish version for their album Misty Roses (1967).
- Marvin Gaye featured the song on his 1985 album Romantically Yours.
- In 2000, Utada Hikaru released a cover of this song on her single "Wait & See: Risk" and included four remixes on the single "Remix: Fly Me to the Moon". A new remix was released in 2007 on the single of "Beautiful World/Kiss & Cry".
- The song is popular in Germany and has been recorded by Tom Gaebel on his album The Unknown (2003) and by Roger Cicero as "Schiess mich doch zum Mond" on his album Männersachen (2006).
- In 2004, Westlife recorded the song on their Allow Us to Be Frank album.
- In 2004, former ABBA singer Agnetha Fältskog included it on her cover album My Colouring Book.
- In 2005, Olivia Ong released on her debut album, A Girl Meets Bossanova, her own cover.
- In 2006, saxophonist Jimmy Sommers covered the song for his release Time Stands Still.
- In 2009, Willie Nelson recorded the song for his album American Classic.
- Diana Krall recorded it on her album Live in Paris (2002).
- The song has also been covered by Hong Kong artist Linda Chung in the 2009 album My Love Story.
- In 2010, Rod Stewart recorded the song for his Fly Me to the Moon... The Great American Songbook Volume V cover album.
- In 2010, Djavan recorded on his album Ária.
- In 2011, Grace Potter recorded the song for use in the TV series Pan Am.
- In 2012, Loura Lou recorded sang this song for the TV series iPartment , season 3, episode 4.
Association with space travel
Appearance in film, television and other media
- Frank Sinatra performed the song on the TV show Sinatra (1969), wherein he dedicated it to the Apollo astronauts "who made the impossible possible".
- Tony Bennett performed a parody of the song on Sesame Street, for an action sequence in which the show's character Slimey the Worm took a trip to the moon.
- In the 1978 to 1982 sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati, the doorbell to Jennifer Marlowe's penthouse apartment played the opening section of "Fly Me to the Moon" - it was later changed to another song ("Beautiful Dreamer") due to licensing issues.
- The song was used during the opening titles of Oliver Stone's film Wall Street (1987).
- The song was featured in the Crossmen Drum and Bugle Corps 1989 program.
- It was Richard Dreyfuss' favorite song in Lasse Hallström's 1991 film Once Around with Holly Hunter playing alongside; Frank Sinatra's version was played several times during the film.
- A Dinah Washington version was played at the end of the Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman season 2 episode, Church of Metropolis where Superman (Dean Cain) and Lois Lane (Teri Hatcher) dance.
- Thomas Anders recorded the song in 1996 at live performance released by Panteon Records on the album Live Concert.
- The song appears in the closing moments and over the end titles of Clint Eastwood's film Space Cowboys (2000).
- Played at the "tarts and vicars" party in Bridget Jones' Diary (2001)
- The song was performed by Elvis Costello in the 2001 final episode of the American sitcom, 3rd Rock From the Sun.
- In Down With Love (2003), the Atrud Gilberto and Frank Sinatra versions are both used when Renée Zellweger and Ewan McGregror respectively prepare for their big date.
- The song has been covered by many artists for the ending theme of the Japanese anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion and the feature films based on the series, for more than 31 versions.
- The Julie London version of the song was played during the end credits of the 11th episode of the first season of AMC's Mad Men; the episode, titled "Indian Summer", aired on October 4, 2007.
- In October 2009, a fragment of the song appeared as a sample in DJ Lord Vampirick's album Straight Shotgun at the Edge of the Universe.
- The song appeared in the South Korean drama You're Beautiful, sung by protagonist Tae Kyung (portrayed by Jang Keun Suk).
- The song was also sung on the 3rd live show by Lloyd Daniels on The X Factor (2009).
- In the 10th series of the U.S. version of Dancing with the Stars, Buzz Aldrin and his partner Ashly Costa danced the foxtrot to the song.
- The song was also remixed in an action form in various scenes of the 2010 video game Bayonetta for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, where it is sung by Helena Noguerra. Stylized versions of the song appear at key moments in the game's storyline, and the end credits of the game features a 1963 version of the song by Brenda Lee.
- The song was also sung on the Australian version of the show The X Factor, by Andrew Lawson.
- In 2011, Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. performed this song on the sixth season of America's Got Talent, in the top 48.
- On the September 6, 2011 episode of American late-night show Jimmy Kimmel Live!, "Fly Me to the Moon" was performed by house band Cleto and the Cletones as a tribute to Kimmel's Uncle Frank, a Frank Sinatra fan and show regular who had died two weeks before the episode aired.
- In the thirteenth season of Dancing with the Stars, reality star Rob Kardashian danced the Foxtrot to the song with his partner Cheryl Burke, in honor of his father.
- A Portuguese language version of "Fly Me to the Moon" is the opening theme of Globo's 2012 Brazilian telenovela Amor Eterno Amor, which translates as "Love, eternal love".
- It appeared on a "find new roads" ad promoting the new 2014 Chevrolet Impala.
- Cincinnati Reds player Todd Frazier uses it as his walkup song.