Red Sails in the Sunset (song)
Published in 1935, its music was written by Hugh Williams (pseudonym for Wilhelm Grosz) with lyrics by prolific songwriter Jimmy Kennedy. The song was inspired by the "red sails" of Kitty of Coleraine, a yacht Kennedy often saw off the northern coast of Ireland and by his adopted town Portstewart, a seaside resort in County Londonderry.
The title of the song provides the inspiration for the Red Sails Festival held annually in Portstewart, Northern Ireland. Kennedy wrote the song while staying in Portstewart.
Some of the earliest versions were recorded by Al Bowlly with Ray Noble and his Orchestra on September 18, 1935 and Guy Lombardo, on October 11, 1935. This recording was issued by Decca Records as catalog number 585.
The song was revived by Nat King Cole in 1951. This version was released by Capitol Records as catalog number 1468. It first reached the Billboard magazine Best Seller chart on July 13, 1951 and lasted 2 weeks on the chart, peaking at #24.
An instrumental version of the song became the signature tune of the Philippine radio drama series Dear Kuya Cesar , broadcast on DZMM radio (ABS-CBN) in the sixties and hosted by Cesar Lacbu Nucum, aka Kuya Cesar.
- Bing Crosby (1935)
- Jack Jackson (1935)
- Guy Lombardo (1935)
- Leslie (Hutch) Hutchinson (Parlophone R 233 September 1935)
- Anona Winn (featured with enormous success per sheet music 1935)
- Henry "Red" Allen 11/8/1935 Vocalion 3097
- Al Bowlly acc. by orchestra directed by Ray Noble 1935
- Vera Lynn (1935)
- Mantovani (1935)
- Tony Martin (EP ABC-Paramount 90842 / 25 cm 10" ABC-Paramount 1501)
- Louis Armstrong (1936)
- Albert Ammons (1946)
- Nat King Cole (1951)
- Patti Page (1955 in "The Patti Page Show")
- Vaughn Monroe (1957)
- Rou Yun (柔雲) (1956 in Mandarin Chinese under title name of 夕陽紅帆 & Chinese lyrics by Szeto Ming 司徒明)
- Tab Hunter (1957)
- Big Joe Turner (1957)
- Paul Anka (1958)
- Emile Ford (1960)
- The Platters (1960)
- The Jarmels (1961)
- The Beatles (Star Club! Hamburg c. 1962)
- Dinah Washington (1962)
- The Three Sounds (1962)
- Earl Grant (1962)
- Fats Domino (1963); Domino's rendition would be the last top 40 hit of his career.
- Connie Francis
- The Searchers (1964, Swedish Radio Sessions 1964-1967)
- Dean Martin c. 1968
- The Five Keys
- Jimmy McGriff (1971)
- Johnny Lee (No. 22 country hit in 1976)
- Crazy Cavan and the Rhythm Rockers (1979)
- Frank Patterson
- Dave Brubeck (1999)
- Engelbert Humperdinck (2000)
- "Red Sails in the Sunset by Bing Crosby"
- A rock-and-roll reworking of the song was often sung by the Beatles during their early years of night club engagements.Vaughn Monroe also recorded of this song in the late 1940s Whitburn, Joel (1973). Top Pop Records 1940-1955. Record Research.
- "Vera Lynn 'Red Sails in the Sunset'" on YouTube
- "'夕陽紅帆' by Rou Yun 柔雲" on YouTube
- Joe Turner - RED SAILS IN THE SUNSET on YouTube