Sentimental Journey (song)
Les Brown and His Band of Renown had been performing the song, but were unable to record it because of the 1942–44 musicians' strike. When the strike ended, the band, with Doris Day as vocalist, had a hit record with the song, Day's first #1 hit, in 1945. The song's release coincided with the end of WWII in Europe and became the unofficial homecoming theme for many veterans. The recording was released by Columbia Records as catalog number 36769, with the flip side "Twilight Time". The record first reached the Billboard charts on March 29, 1945 and lasted 23 weeks on the chart, peaking at #1. The song actually reached the charts after the later-recorded "My Dreams Are Getting Better All the Time".
About this same time, the Merry Macs had a recording following Brown and Day which featured a bouncy arrangement where the group modulates (or augments) the verse eight times in the last half of the song. A vocal feat for any group attempting to record a song in one take without the benefit of tape editing in that era of modern recording.[original research?]
The song later became something of a standard with jazz artists and was recorded by, among others, Buck Clayton with Woody Herman and by Ben Sidran. Frank Sinatra recorded his version of the song in 1961. Rosemary Clooney issued an album Sentimental Journey (2001) which included the song. Harry James recorded a version in 1965 on his album New Versions Of Down Beat Favorites (MGM E-4265).
The song describes someone about to take a train to a place to which they have a great emotional attachment. It describes their mounting anticipation while wondering why they ever roamed away.
Its memorable opening verse is:
Gonna take a sentimental journey
Gonna set my heart at ease
Gonna make a sentimental journey
To renew old memories.
- Conway Twitty recorded a rock & roll version for his 1959 album Conway Twitty Sings on MGM Records.
- Paul Fenoulhet with The Skyrockets Dance Orchestra Voc.: Cyril Shane. Recorded in London on October 10, 1945. It was released by EMI on the HMV Records label as catalogue number BD 5908
- Ella Fitzgerald recorded this song with Eddie Heywood and his Orchestra in 1947, it was later released on her Decca album "Ella and Her Fellas"
- In 1951, Brown's orchestra redid the song, with The Ames Brothers on vocals. This was released by Coral Records as catalog number 60566, with the flip side "Undecided".
- Ralph Marterie released the song as part of the album Marvelous Marterie in 1959.
- Margie Rayburn released a version of the song as the B-side to her 1960 single "Magic Words".
- Juan García Esquivel covered the song on Infinity in Sound, Vol. 2 (April 1961, RCA Victor), replacing the vocal part with whistling.
- The Platters covered this song in 1963.
- Booker T. & the M.G.'s recorded an instrumental cover of this song for their 1966 album And Now!.
- Italian singer Mina released the song as part of the album Dedicato a mio padre in 1967.
- Ringo Starr covered this song for his 1970 album Sentimental Journey.
- Japanese folk singer Shiva recorded a Japanese version of this song for his 1973 CBS/Sony album "コスモスによせる".
- Dave Dudley brought the song to country music with his top 50 version in 1976.
- Nellie McKay recorded her own arrangement as part of her album Normal as Blueberry Pie - A Tribute to Doris Day.
- Little Willie Littlefield recorded a version for his 1990 album Singalong with Little Willie Littlefield.
- In 1994, Les Brown and His Band of Renown teamed up to back Barry Manilow on a version of the song for Manilow's album "Singin' With The Big Bands".* Sarah Harmer & Jason Euringer covered this tune on their 1999 album "Songs for Clem".
- In 2010, Bob and Bernice Thorpe sang this song in the popular theatre show, Prop 8 Love Stories.
- In 2000 Jan Jankeje Trio jazzpointrecords
- In 2000/2001, late singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse, who was 17 years-old at the time, recorded an acoustic cover of this song, with Sam Beste on the piano. This cover of Winehouse was not known, until her father, Mitchell recovered it in June 2014.
- Lynda Carter covered this song for her 2011 album Crazy Little Things.
- In 2013 Emmy Rossum covered this song in her album Sentimental Journey.
- George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic Incorporate the song into their huge hit "Not Just Knee Deep" when performing the song live.\
- Bob Dylan covered the song on his 2017 album Triplicate.
In popular culture
The song features prominently in the 1978 M*A*S*H episode "Your Hit Parade", as Col. Potter – citing a long-standing infatuation with Doris Day – requests the song be played over the camp P.A. system several times during the day.
The song is heard playing on a jukebox in the 1980 animated film Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (And Don't Come Back!!).
It is sung by Jean Claude Fornier's character played by Paul Verdier in The Man From Marseilles (Magnum, P.I.) at a karaoke bar.
It also appeared in advertisements for Ford Australia during the early 1990s.
The song is featured in Season 2, Episode 4 of The Man in the High Castle (TV series).
- 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.
- Columbia Records in the 36500 to 36999 series
- Whitburn, Joel (1973). Top Pop Records 1940-1955. Record Research.
- Coral Records in the 60000 to 60999 series
- "Margie Rayburn, "Magic Words" Single Release". Retrieved December 16, 2016.
- Miles, Barry (1998). The Beatles a Diary: An Intimate Day by Day History. London: Omnibus Press. ISBN 9780711963153.
"My Dreams Are Getting Better All the Time" by Les Brown
| U.S. Billboard Best Sellers in Stores number-one single
May 26, 1945–July 21, 1945
"On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe" by Johnny Mercer