Tangerine (1941 song)

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"Tangerine" is a popular song. The music was written by Victor Schertzinger, the lyrics by Johnny Mercer. The song was published in 1941.

It was introduced in the 1942 movie, The Fleet's In, produced by Paramount Pictures, directed by Schertzinger, and starring Dorothy Lamour, William Holden, Eddie Bracken, singer Cass Daley, and Betty Hutton in her feature film debut.

The most popular recorded version of the song was made by the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra with vocalists Helen O'Connell and Bob Eberly. The recording was released by Decca Records as catalog number 4123. The record first reached the Billboard charts on April 10, 1942 and lasted 15 weeks on the chart, peaking at #1.[1] The lyrics in this version differ slightly from those in the movie. On the record, Eberly sings "And I've seen toasts to Tangerine/Raised in every bar across the Argentine," the lyric that became standard. In the movie at that point, the line is "And I've seen times when Tangerine/Had the bourgeoisie believing she were queen."

A disco instrumental version by the Salsoul Orchestra revived the song, bringing it into the top twenty in 1976.[2]

Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass recorded a leisurely-paced version of the song for their album Whipped Cream & Other Delights.

The tune was featured as background music in the films Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and Double Indemnity.

The Pet Milk company used the melody for a 1960s liquid diet product called Sego. The opening line "Tangerine, she is all they say" was replaced by "There she goes, she's a Sego girl." The tune later became the jingle for Pillsbury's Figurines, a diet aid, during the 1970s.

Brazilian jazz singer and pianist Eliane Elias recorded a bossa nova version on her 2004 RCA release "Dreamer".

More than 100 acts have recorded "Tangerine," including such notable artists as Tony Bennett, Dave Brubeck, Chet Baker and Paul Desmond, Jim Hall, Harry Connick, Jr., Benny Goodman, Dr. John, Vaughn Monroe, Frank Sinatra and Lawrence Welk.[3]


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1973). Top Pop Records 1940-1955. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research. 
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2000). Top Pop Singles 1955-1999. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research. 
  3. ^ ASCAP Title Search
Preceded by
"Moonlight Cocktail" by Glenn Miller
number-one single according to Billboard magazine
May 9 – June 13, 1942
Succeeded by
"Sleepy Lagoon" by Harry James