Love Me or Leave Me (Donaldson and Kahn song)

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This article is about the Donaldson and Kahn song. For the song by Kerli, see Love Me or Leave Me (Kerli song).
"Love Me or Leave Me"
Song by Ruth Etting
Released 1928 (1928)
Genre Vaudeville
Length 3:23
Writer(s) Walter Donaldson, Gus Kahn

"Love Me or Leave Me" is a popular song written in 1928 by Walter Donaldson with lyrics by Gus Kahn. The song was introduced in the Broadway play Whoopee!, which opened in December 1928.[1] Ruth Etting's performance of the song was so popular that she was also given the song to sing in the play Simple Simon, which opened in February 1930.[1]

Recorded versions[edit]

Major recorded versions[edit]

The original version of the song, the biggest-selling at the time, was recorded by Ruth Etting on December 17, 1928. It was issued by Columbia Records as catalog number 1680-D,[1] with the flip side "I'm Bringing a Red, Red Rose", another Donaldson/Kahn composition.[2] The song reached #2 on the charts in 1929.

Other versions which also enjoyed popularity at this time[1] were by Guy Lombardo's Royal Canadians, with a vocal by Carmen Lombardo (recorded March 20, 1929, released by Columbia Records as catalog number 1782D, with the flip side "I'm Still Caring"[2]) and by Leo Reisman and his orchestra (recorded April 22, 1929, released by Victor Records as catalog number 21966A, with the flip side "Sweet Chewaulka, Land of Sleepy Water"[3]).

A recording made December 12, 1947 by Bing Crosby and John Scott Trotter's orchestra was released in 1951 by Decca Records as catalog number 27667.[4]

As the song was considered to be one of Etting's biggest hits, its title was chosen for the 1955 biographical movie about her life, in which Doris Day played Etting. Day's recording of the song, from the soundtrack, became a major hit for her. The same year, Sammy Davis Jr. and Lena Horne also experienced success with their versions of the song.

Davis's version was released by Decca Records as catalog number 29484, with the flip side "Something's Gotta Give".[5] It first reached the Billboard magazine charts on May 28, 1955 and lasted 12 weeks on the chart. On the Disk Jockey chart, it peaked at #20; on the Best Seller chart, at #12.[6] (However, another source[7] gives the highest position as #9, but lists this as a position for the combined two sides of the record, "Love Me or Leave Me" and "Something's Gotta Give.")

Horne's was released by RCA Victor Records as catalog number 20-6073.[8] It reached the Billboard magazine Disk Jockey chart on July 9, 1955, its only week on the chart, at #19.[6] In the United Kingdom, it was released 1955 by HMV Records as catalog number B-309 (78rpm) and 7M-309 (45rpm),.[9] Both releases were with the flip side "I Love To Love".[8][9]

Singer/pianist/songwriter Nina Simone also recorded the song on her debut album Little Girl Blue (1958) and Let It All Out (1966). The version was released as a single in 1959 by Bethlehem Records as catalog number 11021 and by Australian Parlophone Records as catalog number A-8008, with the flip side "I Loves You Porgy".[10] It also shows Simone's seldom-heard side as a Classical pianist when she played a solo in the style of J.S. Bach's Inventions in the middle of the song.

Ella Fitzgerald included her rendition on her 1962 Verve release Ella Swings Brightly with Nelson which won a Grammy Award in 1963.

Other recorded versions[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Gardner, Edward Foote (2000). Popular Songs of the 20th Century: Chart Detail & Encyclopedia, 1900-1949. St. Paul, Minnesota: Paragon House. ISBN 1-55778-789-1. 
  2. ^ a b Columbia Records in the 1500D to 1999D series
  3. ^ a b Victor Records in the 21500 to 21999 series
  4. ^ Decca Records in the 27500 to 27999 series
  5. ^ Decca Records in the 29000 to 29499 series
  6. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (2000-11-01). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits (7th Rev. ed.). New York: Watson-Guptill Publications. ISBN 978-0-8230-7690-1. 
  7. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1973). Top Pop Records 1940-1955. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research. 
  8. ^ a b RCA Victor Records in the 20-6000 to 20-6499 series
  9. ^ a b HMV Records in the 7M series
  10. ^ Australian Parlophone Records in the 8000 to 8293 series
  11. ^ Broadway Records in the 1000 to 1530 series
  12. ^ a b c Brunswick Records in the 4000 to 4499 series
  13. ^ a b RCA Victor Records in the 20-2500 to 20-2999 series
  14. ^ Bluebird Records in the 7000 to 7499 series
  15. ^ MGM Records in the 11000 to 11999 series
  16. ^ Columbia Records in the series
  17. ^ Harmony Records in the 500-H to 999-H series
  18. ^ Columbia Records in the 39500 to 39999 series
  19. ^ Columbia Records in the 2500-D to 2999-D series
  20. ^ Victor Records in the 25000 to 25499 series
  21. ^ Decca Records in the 2000 to 2499 series
  22. ^ Decca Records in the 1000 to 1499 series
  23. ^ Commodore Records listing
  24. ^ OKeh Records in the 6000 to 6499 series
  25. ^Über-Sie-Love-Me-Or-Leave-Me/release/1673329
  26. ^ Mercury Records in the 3000 to 3072 series
  27. ^ Banner Records in the 6001 to 6567 series
  28. ^ a b Domino Records in the 4000 to 4499 series
  29. ^ a b Regal Records in the 8500 to 8999 series
  30. ^ Oriole Records in the 1500 to 1999 series
  31. ^ Jewel Records in the 5500 to 5999 series
  32. ^ a b Lincoln Records in the 3000 to 3395 series
  33. ^ a b Romeo Records in the 500 to 999 series
  34. ^ Gennett Records in the 6500 to 6999 series
  35. ^ Bluebird Records in the 11000 to 11499 series
  36. ^ a b Pathé Records in the 36500 to 37089 series
  37. ^ a b Perfect Records in the 15000 to 15499 series
  38. ^ Majestic Records listing
  39. ^ Capitol Records in the 1500 to 1999 series
  40. ^ a b Supertone Records in the 2000 to 2263 series
  41. ^ a b Vocalion Records in the 1000 to 1499 series
  42. ^ King Records in the 1000 to 1496 series
  43. ^ Tops in Music Records listing
  44. ^ Columbia Records in the 37500 to 37999 series
  45. ^ Bluebird Records in the 6000 to 6499 series
  46. ^ Savoy Records in the 1100 to 1199 series
  47. ^
  48. ^ Musicraft Records in the 200 to 597 series
  49. ^ Conqueror Records in the 7000 to 7499 series
  50. ^ Bluebird Records in the 10000 to 10499 series
  51. ^ Victor Records in the 22000 to 22499 series
  52. ^ Mercury Records in the 5000 to 5497 series
  53. ^ Deram Records (UK) listing