I Don't Want to Walk Without You

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"I Don't Want to Walk Without You" is a popular song.

The music was written by Jule Styne with the lyrics by Frank Loesser.[1] Composer Irving Berlin was a huge admirer of the song.[1] Berlin reportedly said that of all the songs by other composers he had heard, he would have been most proud to have written "I Don't Want to Walk Without You".[1] Writing of Berlin's praise for the song, Loesser wrote in his diary, "Irving Berlin came in today and spent a solid hour telling me that 'Walk' is the best song he ever heard. He played and sang it over, bar by bar, explaining why it's the best song he ever heard. I was flattered like crazy."[1]

A review in the trade publication Billboard called the composition "one of those natural songs with a down-to-earth story that boy sings to girl and vice versa, with a matching melody that makes it contagious on the first listen".[2]

The song was published in 1941. "I Don't Want to Walk Without You" was first performed in the 1942 Paramount Pictures film, Sweater Girl, by actress Betty Jane Rhodes.[1] In 2012, Tom Vallance of The Independent wrote of Rhodes' performance, "Her place in the history of popular song is secured by her having introduced on screen one of the great songs of wartime longing, "I Don't Want to Walk Without You"."[1]

"I Don't Want to Walk Without You" became a number one pop hit for Harry James and his orchestra in 1942, with Helen Forrest as vocalist (Columbia 36478).[3] Tommy Tucker recorded the song on December 2, 1941.[4] Vaughn Monroe recorded it in 1941 (Bluebird 11399).[2]

There have been several charting versions of this song during the rock era. Phyllis McGuire charted with her 1964 version, and Barry Manilow released a version of the song in early 1980 which reached No. 36 on the Billboard Hot 100.

In film[edit]

Olive Oyl serenaded Popeye with this song in the 1946 Popeye the Sailor cartoon Klondike Casanova.

Diane Keaton serenades a dance hall with this song in the Woody Allen film Radio Days.


  1. ^ a b c d e f Vallance, Tom (2012-01-30). "Betty Jane Rhodes: Actress and singer who charmed the US as a wartime sweetheart". The Independent. Retrieved 2012-01-30. 
  2. ^ a b Orodenker, M.H. (January 3, 1942). "On the Records" (PDF). Billboard. p. 14. Retrieved 14 March 2015. 
  3. ^ Orodenker, M.H. (January 17, 1942). "On the Records" (PDF). Billboard. p. 12. Retrieved 14 March 2015. 
  4. ^ Abrams, Steven and Settlemier, Tyrone. "The Online Discographical Project – Okeh (CBS) 6500 - 6747 (1941 - 45)". Retrieved February 21, 2011

External links[edit]