Midnight Sun (song)

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"Midnight Sun" (1954) was originally an instrumental composed by Lionel Hampton and Sonny Burke in 1947 and is now considered a jazz standard. Subsequently, Johnny Mercer wrote the words to the song. One famous recording of the song with the Mercer lyrics is by Ella Fitzgerald on her 1957 album Like Someone in Love. Ella recorded the song again for her 1964 album Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Johnny Mercer Songbook (1964). She recorded it for a third time in 1975 with jazz pianist Oscar Peterson on the Pablo release Ella and Oscar.

Story behind the lyrics[edit]

According to Philip Furia,[1] Johnny Mercer was driving along the freeway from Palm Springs to Hollywood, California, when he heard the instrumental on his car radio and started to set words to the song as he drove.

Notable recordings[edit]

  • Ahmad Jamal - Digital Works (1985)
  • Lionel Hampton Orchestra – Original instrumental recording in 1947 (Decca L 4546), Lionel Hampton Apollo Hall Concert 1954 (1955), on single featuring Buddy Rich on drums recorded in 1955 (Clef, later on Here's Gates), Hamp in Japan (1966), and Live in Europe (1980)


  1. ^ Furia, Philip (1990). The Poets of Tin Pan Alley. New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press. 

See also[edit]