Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise
"Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise" is a song with music by Sigmund Romberg and Oscar Hammerstein II from the 1928 operetta The New Moon. One of the best-known numbers from the show, it is a song of bitterness and yearning for a lost love, sung in the show by Philippe (tenor), the best friend of the hero, Robert Mission (baritone).
The original song was composed as a tango, and features a dance as accompaniment to the choral reprise, but many versions of the song have changed the tempo completely (there have been many jazz renditions). What some may consider the most ludicrous version is the one featured in the 1940 film version of the operetta, in which it is actually sung as a cheerful ditty by Nelson Eddy while he shines his shoes, despite the melancholy nature of the song's lyric.
The song is featured twice in the 1954 MGM biographical musical film about the life of operetta composer Sigmund Romberg Deep in My Heart when it is sung by Betty Wand (dubbing for Tamara Toumanova) and by Helen Traubel.
- Nat Shilkret and the Victor Orchestra (vocal by Franklyn Baur), made the first hit recording in 1928.
- Artie Shaw (arranged by Jerry Gray) helped popularize the tune with his recording in 1938.
- Milt Jackson's Modern Jazz Quartet (performed regularly); first recording in 1952
- June Christy - Something Cool (1955)
- Sonny Clark - Sonny Clark Trio (1957)
- Bing Crosby - New Tricks (1957)
- Helen Merrill –- The Nearness of You (1957)
- Sonny Rollins - A Night at the Village Vanguard (1958)
- Bobby Darin - That's All (1959)
- Abbey Lincoln - Abbey Is Blue (1959)
- Ron Carter - Where? (1961)
- Miles Davis - In Person Friday and Saturday Nights at the Blackhawk (1961, released 2003)
- Stan Getz - People Time (recorded 1961, released 2010)
- John Coltrane - Live! At The Village Vanguard (1962)
- Eric Dolphy - The Illinois Concert (1963)
- Los Agaros - Dígaselo con música (España, 1964)
- Larry Young - Unity (1965)
- Takeshi Terauchi & Bunnys - The World Is Waiting For Terry (1967)
- Freddie Hubbard - Above & Beyond (1982)
- J. J. Johnson (Ray Brown on lead) - Things Are Getting Better All the Time (w/ Al Grey) (1984)
- Ray Alexander (Ray Alexander Trio, featuring Pepper Adams) - "Cloud Patterns" (1984)
- Dorothy Ashby - Django/Misty (1984)
- Patricio Rey y sus Redonditos de Ricota - La Bestia Pop (Argentina, 1985)
- John Larkin - John Larkin (1986), re-released on his compilation album Listen to the Scatman (2001)
- Helge Schneider - The Last Jazz (1987)
- Emily Remler - East to Wes (1988)
- Dave Weckl - Master Plan (1990)
- Dianne Reeves - I Remember (1991)
- Don Braden (the Don Braden Quintet) - The Time is Now (1991)
- Marc Ribot - Yo! I Killed Your God (1992-4)
- Roseanna Vitro - Softly (1993)
- Royce Campbell - Six By Six: A Jazz Guitar Celebration (1994)
- Jenny Evans - Shiny Stockings (1997)
- Kenny Barron and Regina Carter - Freefall (2001)
- George Benson - Irreplaceable (2004)
- Frank Sinatra, Jr. - That Face! (2006)
- Hiromi Uehara - Beyond Standard (2008)
- Dr. Lonnie Smith (instrumental version) - The Art Of Organizing (2009)
- Doreen Shaffer (with the Moon Invaders) - Groovin' With The Moon Invaders (Released on 2009)
- Vince Guaraldi Trio - Softly, as in a morning Sunrise (?)
- Hugo Fattoruso & Banda Sinfónica de Montevideo - Teatro Solís, Montevideo Uruguay (22/06/2016)
- Ellis Marsalis(Solo piano w/ Bill Huntington, Bass & Jason Marsalis, Drums) -"On the First Occasion" (2004)
- Rust, Brian, Victor Master Book, Volume 2, W. C. Allen, Stanhope, New Jersey, 1970, p. 237.
- Whitburn, Joel, Joel Whitburn's Pop Memories: 1890--1954: The History of American Popular Music, Record Research, Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, 1986, p. 387. ISBN 0-89820-083-0
- "Softly As in a Morning Sunrise". JazzStandards.com. Retrieved 2010-01-28.
- Gioia, Ted. "The Modern Jazz Quartet: Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise". Jazz.com. Retrieved 7 April 2010.
- Giddins, Gary (2004). Weather Bird: Jazz at the Dawn of Its Second Century. Oxford University Press US. p. 129. ISBN 0-19-515607-2.
- "Master Plan overview". Allmusic.com.