Dancing in the Dark (Howard Dietz and Arthur Schwartz song)

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"Dancing in the Dark"
Published 1931
Composer(s) Arthur Schwartz
Lyricist(s) Howard Dietz
Language English

"Dancing in the Dark" is a popular song, with music by Arthur Schwartz and lyrics by Howard Dietz, that was first introduced by John Barker in the 1931 revue The Band Wagon. The song was first recorded by Bing Crosby in August 1931, staying on the pop charts for six weeks, peaking at #3, and helped make it a lasting standard. The 1941 recording by Artie Shaw and His Orchestra earned Shaw one of his eight gold records at the height of the Big Band era of the 1930s and 1940s.

It was subsequently featured in the classic 1953 MGM musical The Band Wagon and has since come to be considered part of the Great American Songbook. In the film it is orchestrally performed to a ballet dance set in Central Park. The song is given a 'sensual and dramatic'[1] orchestration by Conrad Salinger, with the dance choreographed by Michael Kidd and performed by Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse.

The song has also been recorded by Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Fred Astaire, Bea Wain, Bing Crosby, Al Bowlly, Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, Diana Krall, Tony Bennett, Diamanda Galas, Bill Evans, Ray Conniff and others.

In popular culture[edit]

Steve Martin was the host for the final episode of season 14 of Saturday Night Live. In the opening monologue, he visibly struggled to hold back tears as he paid tribute to Gilda Radner, who had died of cancer on the afternoon before the broadcast. Martin and Radner's "Dancing in the Dark" sketch, originally shown in episode 64 in 1978, was also offered in tribute.


  1. ^ Alexandra Carter, The Routledge Dance Studies Reader, 1998, p. 292.

External links[edit]