I'm Beginning to See the Light

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"I'm Beginning to See the Light" is a popular song and jazz standard, written by Duke Ellington, Don George, Johnny Hodges, and Harry James, and published in 1944. Ella Fitzgerald and the Ink Spots featuring Bill Kenny recorded a version in 1945, that was on the pop song hits list for six weeks in 1945, reaching #5. A competing 1945 recording by Harry James and his Orchestra,[1] with lead vocal by Kitty Kallen reached #1 for two weeks in January of that year. James' version of the song reached #7 on Billboard's Second Annual High School Survey in 1945.[2] Duke Ellington also released in 1945 a version, vocal by Joya Sherrill, which reached the top ten.[3] Ellington's inspiration for this song was his recent initiation into Freemasonry.[citation needed] He was a member of Social Lodge No. 1 of the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia, Prince Hall Affiliation.[citation needed]

Notable recordings[edit]


  1. ^ Gilliland, John (1994). Pop Chronicles the 40s: The Lively Story of Pop Music in the 40s (audiobook). ISBN 978-1-55935-147-8. OCLC 31611854.  Tape 1, side B.
  2. ^ Smith, Kathleen E.R. God Bless America: Tin Pan Alley Goes to War. The University Press of Kentucky. p. 167. ISBN 0-8131-2256-2. 
  3. ^ "I'm Beginning to See the Light" at Jazz Standards
  4. ^ RCA Victor Records in the 20-1500 to 20-1999 series