All of Me (jazz standard)

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"All of Me"
Published1931 by Irving Berlin, Inc.
Songwriter(s)Gerald Marks, Seymour Simons

"All of Me" is a popular song and jazz standard written by Gerald Marks and Seymour Simons in 1931.

Composition and characteristics[edit]

Gerald Marks and Seymour Simons wrote the words and music of "All of Me" in 1931.[1] It has an ABAC structure, and is written in the key of B-flat major.[2] There is a 20-bar introductory verse, but this is routinely omitted.[2]

"The melody [...] combines the contradictory possibilities of the song. The downward thrusts of the opening phrases hint at emotional despair while the closing line, with its repeated high notes, seems almost jubilant."[3] It is usually performed at a medium tempo.[3] The harmony is relatively straightforward, and has served as the basis for Lennie Tristano's "Line Up", Warne Marsh's "Background Music",[3] and Bill Dobbins's "Lo Flame".[2]

Successful recordings[edit]

"All of Me" first came to public awareness when a performance by Belle Baker was broadcast over the radio in 1931.[1] Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra recorded the song on December 1 that year, with vocalist Mildred Bailey; this went to the top of the US pop charts.[1] Within weeks, another two versions were in the charts, with a Louis Armstrong rendition also reaching No. 1, and Ben Selvin and His Orchestra peaking at No. 19.[1] The song was used in the 1932 film Careless Lady.[1] In the view of critic Ted Gioia, the definitive version was sung by Billie Holiday in 1941: "she staked a claim of ownership that no one has managed to dislodge in subsequent years".[3] Two years later, Lynne Sherman's recording with Count Basie and His Orchestra reached No. 14 in the charts.[1]

Frank Sinatra recorded several versions of "All of Me".[3] His 1948 release peaked at No. 21.[1] He also sang it in the film Meet Danny Wilson, which may have helped Johnnie Ray's rendition up to No. 12 in the charts that year.[1] Sinatra's use of "All of Me" brought a non-jazz audience to the song, and so too did Willie Nelson, whose version was included in his Stardust album[3] and reached No. 3 on the Hot Country Songs chart in 1978.[4] In 2000, "All of Me" was given the Towering Song Award by the Songwriters Hall of Fame.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "All of Me (1931)". Retrieved December 23, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "All of Me (1931): Music and Lyrics Analysis". Retrieved December 23, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Gioia, Ted (2012). The Jazz Standards: A Guide to the Repertoire. Oxford University Press. pp. 12–13. ISBN 978-0-19-993739-4.
  4. ^ "Willie Nelson: Chart History". Retrieved December 23, 2018.

External links[edit]

  • "All of Me" Harmonic analysis and jazz guitar arrangement
  • All of Me - Count Basie Orchestra, Lynne Sherman vocals