The Nearness of You

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"The Nearness of You"
Single by Glenn Miller
A-side"The Nearness of You"
B-side"Mister Meadowlark"
Published1940 by Famous Music
Released1940 (1940)
RecordedApril 28, 1940
Songwriter(s)Hoagy Carmichael, Ned Washington

"The Nearness of You" is a popular song written in 1937 by Hoagy Carmichael with lyrics by Ned Washington. Intended for an unproduced Paramount film titled Romance In The Rough, the studio's publishing division Famous Music reregistered and published the song in 1940. It was first recorded by Chick Bullock and his Orchestra on Vocalion. Despite numerous accounts to the contrary, the song was never scheduled for and does not appear in the 1938 Paramount film Romance in the Dark.[1]

It is also heard in the 1940 recording "In the Mood" by Glenn Miller and His Orchestra, with vocals by Ray Eberle,[2] and by many others.

The song is on the Grammy-Award-winning album Come Away with Me by Norah Jones, at Track 14.


It's not the pale moon that excites me
That thrills and delights me, oh no
It's just the nearness of you

It isn't your sweet conversation
That brings this sensation, oh no
It's just the nearness of you

When you're in my arms and I feel you so close to me
All my wildest dreams come true

I need no soft lights to enchant me
If you'll only grant me the right
To hold you ever so tight
And to feel in the night the nearness of you


The first big-selling version was recorded on April 28, 1940, by the Glenn Miller Orchestra, with a vocal by Ray Eberle (Bluebird).[3][4] This recording first reached the Billboard Best Seller chart on July 20, 1940, and lasted eight weeks on the chart, peaking at No. 5.[5]

Other popular versions around that time were recorded by Kay Kyser's orchestra (vocal: Harry Babbitt, Columbia catalog number 35488),[3][6] by Dinah Shore with Paul Weston's orchestra (Bluebird),[3][4] and by Eddy Howard with Lou Adrian's orchestra (Columbia).[3][7]

In 1953, Bob Manning reached No. 16 on the pop charts with this song[8][9]

The 1956 Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong album of duets, Ella & Louis, included a version of this song with Fitzgerald soloing vocally while Armstrong soloed both vocally and on trumpet. Accompaniment was provided by the small combo of the Oscar Peterson Trio featuring Peterson on piano, Ray Brown on bass, and Herb Ellis on guitar, joined by Buddy Rich on drums. The album reached No. 1 on the Billboard magazine jazz chart and the top 10 of its pop chart.[10]

German musician Marc Secara recorded the song with the Berlin Jazz Orchestra for the album You're Everything (2008). This was arranged for big band by Steve Gray.[11]

Other versions[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "SecondHandSongs - The Nearness of You". SecondHandSongs. Retrieved January 22, 2023.
  2. ^ Maycock, Ben. "Jazz Standards Songs and Instrumentals (The Nearness of You)". Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ a b c "Bluebird Records in the 10500 to 10999 series".
  5. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1973). Top Pop Records 1940-1955. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research.
  6. ^ a b "Columbia Records in the 35200 to 35499 series".
  7. ^ a b "Columbia Records in the 35500 to 35999 series".
  8. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1986). Pop Memories 1890–1954. Record Research. p. 293. ISBN 0-89820-083-0.
  9. ^ Abrams, Steven; Settlemier, Tyrone (November 1, 2011). "Capitol 2000 - 2500, numerical listing discography". Online Discographical Project. Retrieved December 7, 2011.
  10. ^ "Billboard". Nielsen Business Media. 24 November 1956.
  11. ^ Secara, Marc; Berlin Jazz Orchestra; Gray, Steve. You're Everything (CD). Track #2.
  12. ^ "45 Discography for King Records - 6000 series". Global Dog Productions.
  13. ^ "KING 78rpm numerical listing discography: 4000 series part 2".
  14. ^ "A Bing Crosby Discography". BING magazine. International Club Crosby. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
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  19. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Gioia, Ted (2012). The Jazz Standards: A Guide to the Repertoire. New York City: Oxford University Press. pp. 292–295. ISBN 978-0-19-993739-4.
  20. ^ "Vocalion 78rpm numerical listing discography 5500 - 5600".
  21. ^ a b "DECCA (USA) 78rpm numerical listing discography: 3000 - 3500".
  22. ^ a b "MGM Records - 78rpm numerical listing discography: 30500 - end of series".
  23. ^ "Original versions of The Nearness of You written by Hoagy Carmichael, Ned Washington". SecondHandSongs.
  24. ^ "Varsity 78rpm numerical listing discography: 5000 series".
  25. ^ a b c "45 discography for Philips Records". Global Dog Productions.
  26. ^ Akkerman, Gregg (2012). The Last Balladeer: The Johnny Hartman Story. Studies in Jazz, No. 68. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0-8108-8281-2.
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  28. ^ Michel Ruppli, ed. (1996). The Decca Labels: A Discography. Westport: Greenwood Press.
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  34. ^ "Singles Discography for Brunswick Records - UK - 05000 series". Global Dog Productions. Archived from the original on 2023-03-07.
  35. ^ Brunswick (U.K.) 05717 (10-in.). (2023). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved August 31, 2023, from
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