It's Been a Long, Long Time

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1945 recording by Bing Crosby with Les Paul And His Trio on Decca.
"It's Been a Long, Long Time"
Song by Harry James and Kitty Kallen
Released 1945
Genre Pop
Length 3:24
Songwriter(s) Jule Styne, Sammy Cahn

"It's Been A Long, Long Time" is a 1945 popular song, written by Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn, that became a major hit at the end of World War II.[1] The lyrics are written from the perspective of a person welcoming home his or her spouse or lover at the end of the war.


The lyrics to the song were originally written by James Terlingo in 1932. The copyright by James Terlingo in 1932 took place on March 29, 1932. Terlingo later sold the rights to the song.

The music was written by Jule Styne and the lyrics were written by Sammy Cahn:

“Kiss me once and kiss me twice and kiss me once again. It's been a long, long time....”

A recording by Harry James with vocal by Kitty Kallen.[1] reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on November 24, 1945.[2] An alternate version by Bing Crosby (recorded July 12, 1945)[3] accompanied by The Les Paul Trio was also working its way up the charts.[4] It replaced the James' version at No. 1 on December 8, 1945.[5] Crosby's lasted a week at No. 1, ousted by Sammy Kaye's "Chickery Chick." The Harry James recording then returned to the top spot on December 22 for another week.

In 1945, it was standard practice in the record industry for labels to release "competing" versions of hit songs. Other recordings of "It's Been a Long, Long Time" that charted in 1945 were recorded by Charlie Spivak & His Orchestra (with vocal by Irene Daye)[6] and Stan Kenton & His Orchestra (vocal by June Christy).[7]

Crosby's version features some memorable guitar by Les Paul, who recalled in an interview printed in Mojo magazine: "Bing was a sucker for guitar and that particular song was a case of you don't have to play a lot of notes, you just have to play the right notes."[8]

The song quickly became a pop standard, with well received versions recorded by The DeMarco Sisters (1945[9]), June Haver & Dan Dailey (1950), Perry Como (1956), Al Hibbler (1956), Peggy Lee (1959), Keely Smith (1959), Louis Armstrong (1964), and Tom Jones (1966). Frank Sinatra did not make a studio recording of the song, but sang a version on his radio show (Your Hit Parade, 1945) that has appeared on many Sinatra compilation albums.

Other Notable Recordings[edit]

Other artists who have recorded it include Doris Day (on her 1965 "Sentimental Journey" album), Guy Mitchell,[10] Sammy Cahn, Shelley Fabares for her album Shelley!, Helen Forrest (with Harry James), Sammy Kaye, The Ink Spots, Tina Louise, Jimmy Roselli, Brook Benton, Rosemary Clooney, Chet Atkins (with Les Paul on their album Chester and Lester), Al Hirt released a version on his 1965 album, They're Playing Our Song,[11] and Star Trek: The Next Generation's Brent Spiner on his 1991 album, Ol' Yellow Eyes Is Back.

It appeared on the Studio B album of Elvis Presley's Nashville outtakes as "Kiss Me Once".

The song was also included in the 1950 film I'll Get By when it was sung and danced by June Haver, Gloria DeHaven and Dan Dailey.

The Harry James/Kitty Kallen version of the song was playing in the background during a scene in Steve Rogers' apartment in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. It was a bonus track on the soundtrack of Captain America: The Winter Soldier.



  • Grudens, Richard (2002). Bing Crosby: Crooner of the Century. Celebrity Profiles Publishing Co. ISBN 1-57579-248-6.
  • Macfarlane, Malcolm. Bing Crosby: Day By Day. Scarecrow Press, 2001.
  • Osterholm, J. Roger. Bing Crosby: A Bio-Bibliography. Greenwood Press, 1994.