|Single by The Bachelors|
|Released||26 January 1963|
|Recorded||October 10, 1962|
|Writer(s)||Ernö Rapée, Lew Pollack|
|The Bachelors singles chronology|
"Charmaine" is a popular song written by Ernö Rapée and Lew Pollack. The song was written in 1926 and published in 1927. However, Desmond Carrington on his BBC Radio 2 programme marked the song's writing as being in 1913.
The song was originally composed for the 1926 silent movie What Price Glory?, and most notably, the best-selling version, recorded by Guy Lombardo & his Orchestra, spent seven weeks at the #1 position in 1927. It was also featured in the movie Two Girls and a Sailor. It was recorded by the Harry James orchestra in 1944.
An instrumental version arranged by Ronald Binge and performed by the Mantovani orchestra was his first hit on the United States charts in 1951. This recording was released by London Records as catalog number 1020. It first reached the Billboard charts on November 9, 1951 and lasted 19 weeks on the chart, peaking at #10.
Another recording, by Gordon Jenkins' orchestra, with a vocal by Bob Carroll, also charted in 1951. This recording was released by Decca Records as catalog number 27859. It first reached the Billboard magazine charts on December 7, 1951 and lasted 1 week on the chart, at #26.
A 1952 arrangement of "Charmaine" by Billy May and His Orchestra reached # 17 on the Billboard charts. The single was May's biggest hit under his own name.
"Charmaine" is one of many popular songs whose lyrics use a "Bluebird of happiness" as a symbol of cheer: "I wonder, when bluebirds are mating, will you come back again?"
Use in popular culture
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The version of "Charmaine" by the Mantovani Orchestra (the 1958 stereo recording) is used quite often in comedy to provide comedic effect whenever a romantic situation is created. In Monty Python's Flying Circus, as example, the tune has been used at least twice:
- in the Seduced Milkmen sketch from the first season; and
- in the second season, scored to scenes where soccer players who celebrate a goal start to kiss and embrace each other in a homosexual way.
The same version is played during the opening titles of the 1963 NDR production of the sketch Der 90. Geburtstag (Dinner For One) with Freddy Frinton and May Warden, which has long since become a staple of German popular culture, being rerun there on TV every New Years Evening since the 1970s.
The song is also used in the 1967 film "Thoroughly Modern Millie" at the Long Island fancy dress party when the eccentric widow Muzzy Van Hossmere Carol Channing is introducing all of her 'instructors' who also happen to be former lovers. The song is a recurring theme in the movie when referring to Millie Dillmount's Julie Andrews love life or lack thereof.
In the film One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) the tune is constantly played as background music in the mental institution. The same 1951/1958 arrangement by Mantovani is used for "institutional" effect in Frank Darabont's 1999 film The Green Mile, in which it is heard as background music in the retirement home.
It was also used as background music in the "waiting room" of the Alton Towers scare maze The Sanctuary.
It was referenced in the film Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown (1977) when Peppermint Patty plays a record, remarking to Charlie Brown, "I don't suppose you even know what a waltz is, do you?"
- Jimmy Arnold
- The Bachelors (recorded October 10, 1962)
- Tex Beneke
- Max Bygraves
- Frankie Carle & His Girlfriends (1944)
- Vic Damone (1962)
- Billy Daniels
- Tommy Dorsey & Orchestra
- Gracie Fields
- The Four Freshmen
- The Four Knights
- The Four Preps
- Erroll Garner
- Bill Haley & His Comets (1958)
- The Harmonicats (instrumental) (1951)
- The Ink Spots
- Harry James & His Orchestra (1944)
- Lewis James (1927)
- Gordon Jenkins & His Orchestra (vocal: Bob Carroll) (1951)
- Sammy Kaye
- Lester Lanin & Orchestra
- James Last
- Layton & Johnstone
- Michel Legrand
- Julia Lee
- Josef Locke
- Guy Lombardo & His Royal Canadians (vocal: Carmen Lombardo) (recorded June 13, 1927)
- Jimmie Lunceford & Orchestra
- Mantovani & His Orchestra (1951) (recorded again in stereo in 1958; the stereo version is the most played version)
- Billy May & His Orchestra (instrumental) (1952)
- Moms & Dads
- Vaughn Monroe & His Orchestra (recorded October 27, 1951)
- Ed Bogas (1975; from the soundtrack to the film One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest)
- Lou Rawls (1965)
- Jim Reeves (1958)
- Victor Silvester; his version was used as the title music for Dinner for One
- Frank Sinatra (recorded January 15, 1962)
- Ethel Smith
- Cyril Stapleton & Orchestra
- Hank Thompson
- Arthur Tracy
- Paul Weston & His Orchestra (vocal: Norman Luboff Choir) (recorded November 4, 1951)
- Gunnar Wiklund with Marcus Österdahl's orchestra. Swedish lyrics by Karl-Ewert also entitled "Charmaine". Recorded in Stockholm in 1967 and released on the single His Master's Voice EG 8698 on November 20, 1967.
- CD liner notes: Chart-Toppers of the Twenties, 1998 ASV Ltd.
- Whitburn, Joel (1973). Top Pop Records 1940-1955. Record Research.
- Decca Records in the 27500 to 27999 series
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-08-05. Retrieved 2010-09-27. The Bachelors: 1962