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While officially credited to Carter, Frigo, and Ellis, there is no agreement in whether all three composed the song.
The original lyrics compare love’s progress to a motor trip – the perfect metaphor in 1950s America.
- In 1949 Billie Holiday recorded the song with Tiny Grimes’ Sextet.
- Stan Getz covered Detour Ahead in his 1957 album with Gerry Mulligan and Oscar Peterson.
- Irene Kral included it on her 1958 album The Band and I.
- Della Reese recorded the song in the album "Della Reese Live in Hollywood 1966."
- In his 1974 CTI Records album Goodbye, Milt Jackson covered this song with Hubert Laws on flute. Even though the title of the album is "Goodbye", the cover art is all Detour Ahead.
- Terence Blanchard included the song in his 1992 album Simply Stated.
- Jazz pianist Eliane Elias included the composition in her 2008 album Something for You: Eliane Elias Sings & Plays Bill Evans
- Jazz vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant covered the song Detour Ahead in her 2010 debut album Cécile.