It's a Sin to Tell a Lie

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"It's a Sin to Tell a Lie" is a 1936 popular song by Billy Mayhew. Originally introduced by Fats Waller on the 78 rpm record Victor 20-1595,[1] it was revived in 1955 by Somethin' Smith and the Redheads, reaching #7 on the Billboard charts in that year. It was later a Top 40 Country hit for Slim Whitman, reaching #21 on the Top Country Singles chart in 1971, from the album of the same name. John Denver tells a story about the song and does a cover in his 1978 album, Live at the Sydney Opera House (RCA Victor VPL1-7167).[2] Other artists who have recorded versions include Billie Holiday, The Ink Spots, Tony Bennett, Bobbi Martin, Gerry Monroe, Brent Spiner, Lenny Breau, Buddy Greco, Steve Goodman, The Quebe Sisters Band, Ann Breen, Jerry Murad and the Harmonicats, Bobby Vinton, Patti Page, Vera Lynn, and George Maharis.

Originally a waltz, during the British Dixieland Revival in the 1950s and 1960s this melody was often played in fast four/four tempo, notably recorded by the Kenny Ball Band.

Popular culture[edit]

A version of this song by the Ink Spots appears in Obsidian Entertainment's 2010 role-playing game Fallout: New Vegas.


  2. ^ The Other John Denver Discography