Bluebird of Happiness (song)
Harmati wrote the song for his friend, the tenor Jan Peerce, the leading singer at Radio City Music Hall. Peerce recorded it three times: in 1936, under the name Paul Robinson, with the Radio City Music Hall Orchestra conducted by Ernö Rapée; on 7 June 1945, under his own name, with the RCA Victor Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sylvan Levin; and in 1958 (the Las Vegas version) with Joe Reisman and his Orchestra. Each version included slight variations in the spoken recitative, which was accompanied by Boldi's "Chanson Bohemienne", rather than Harmati's music.
The 1945 recording became a worldwide hit for Peerce, outselling all his many operatic recordings, and becoming second only to Enrico Caruso's recording of George M. Cohan's "Over There" among the best-selling records made by opera and concert singers. The 1958 version was the one Peerce used in later live performances.
There was also a popular 1948 record by Art Mooney and his Orchestra. Other singers have covered the song, but it remains Jan Peerce's signature tune and is firmly associated with him.
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