Shangri-La (1946 song)

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"Shangri-La"
Single by The Lettermen
from the album Hurt So Bad
B-side "When Summer Ends"
Released 1969
Format 7" single
Length 2:34
Label Capitol
Writer(s) Matty Malneck, Carl Sigman, Robert Maxwell
The Lettermen singles chronology
"Hurt So Bad"
(1969)
"Shangri-La"
(1969)
"Traces/Memories Medley"
(1969)

"Shangri-La" is a popular song written by Carl Sigman (lyricist), bandleader Matty Malneck, and Robert Maxwell in 1946. The term comes from "Shangri-La," the hidden valley of delight in James Hilton's 1933 novel "Lost Horizon." The term "Shangri-La," especially in the 1930s and 1940s, was slang for heaven or paradise[citation needed], and the song is about the joy of being in love.

Composer Maxwell's instrumental version (saxophone/organ lead with brass and rhythm) charted in 1964. Other popular versions (with lyrics) were recorded by The Four Coins in 1957 (#11 US) and by The Lettermen in 1969 (#64 US).

Jackie Gleason used "Shangri-La" on his 1950s-60s TV variety show as theme music for his popular millionaire character Reginald van Gleason III.

The song was also used as the opening and closing theme of Radio City Playhouse, a radio anthology series that aired in the late 1940s.