Till There Was You

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"Till There Was You" is a song written by Meredith Willson for his musical play The Music Man (1957), and which also appeared in the 1962 movie version. It is sung by librarian Marian Paroo (performed by Barbara Cook on Broadway, and by Shirley Jones in the film) to "Professor" Harold Hill (portrayed in the film by Robert Preston) toward the end of Act Two.

The song became a hit for Anita Bryant in 1959, reaching number 30 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and spending two weeks at number 14 on Cash Box. "Till There Was You" was covered by the Beatles in 1963.


The first recording of the song to be released was produced by Nelson Riddle, featuring his orchestra and 17-year-old vocalist Sue Raney. Promotional copies of the 45 rpm single, Capitol P3847, were released on November 26, 1957, even before the Broadway production had premiered on December 19, 1957, and a month ahead of the original cast album.

An earlier version of this song, "Till I Met You", was first recorded by Eileen Wilson in 1950 and later appeared on the January 14, 1951 edition of The Big Show, performed by Fran Warren.

Anita Bryant version[edit]

"Till There Was You"
Till thhere was you.jpg
Single by Anita Bryant
B-side"Little George (Got the Hiccoughs)"
ReleasedMay 1959
LabelCarlton Records 512
Songwriter(s)Meredith Willson
Anita Bryant singles chronology
"Till There Was You"
"Six Boys and Seven Girls"

In 1959, American singer Anita Bryant recorded the song "Till There Was You" and released it as a single. Her version reached number 30 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and number 14 on the Cashbox Top 100.

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1959) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 [1] 30
U.S. Cash Box Top 100 [2] 14

The Beatles version[edit]

"Till There Was You"
Till there was you.jpg
Song by the Beatles
from the album With the Beatles
ReleasedNovember 22, 1963 (mono)
November 30, 1963 (stereo)
RecordedJuly 18 and 30, 1963
StudioEMI Studios, London
Songwriter(s)Meredith Willson
Producer(s)George Martin
Audio sample
"'Til There Was You"

"Till There Was You" was covered by the English rock band the Beatles in 1963. Their version appeared on their second UK album With the Beatles (1963) and their second US album Meet the Beatles! (1964). It was the only Broadway song that the group recorded.

Paul McCartney was introduced to Peggy Lee's cover of the song through his older cousin, Bett Robbins, who would occasionally baby-sit the two McCartney brothers.[3] McCartney said: "I had no idea until much later that it was from The Music Man."[4] "'Till There Was You" was part of the Beatles' pre-recording repertoire in 1962 and performed at the Star Club in Hamburg.[5] It became illustrative of the Beatles' versatility, proving they could appeal to all sections of an audience, moving easily from softer ballads to harder rock and roll, as in their appearance on November 4, 1963 at the Royal Variety Performance when they followed this song with "Twist and Shout".[6]

The band had included "'Till There Was You" as part of their unsuccessful audition for Decca Records in London on January 1, 1962.[5] It was the second of five songs the group performed during their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show on February 9, 1964.[6][7]

Live versions of the song were released on Live at the BBC (1994) and Anthology 1 (1995). A live performance of "'Till There was You" by Paul McCartney appears on his DVD The Space Within US (2006).

In 2016, the BBC announced that a "holy grail" Beatles record would be auctioned in March of that year. A private pressing, it features two songs, "Hello Little Girl" and "Till There Was You" and was valued at over £10,000.[8] The disc eventually sold for well over its estimated value - £77,500.[9]


Other versions[edit]


  1. ^ "Hot 100 - Billboard", Billboard, August 17, 1959, retrieved September 25, 2018
  2. ^ "The CASH BOX Top 100 Singles". Cashbox. August 22, 1959. Retrieved February 22, 2019.
  3. ^ Ray Coleman (1998). McCartney: Yesterday . . . and Today. Boxtree Ltd. p. 25. ISBN 978-0788159350.
  4. ^ Ray Coleman (1998). McCartney: Yesterday . . . and Today. Boxtree Ltd. p. 26. ISBN 978-0788159350.
  5. ^ a b Bill Harry (2000). The Ultimate Beatles Encyclopedia. Mjf Books. p. 651. ISBN 978-1567314038.
  6. ^ a b "The Fab Four". The Beatles. November 4, 1963. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  7. ^ a b Ian MacDonald (2008). Revolution in the Head (Second ed.). Vintage. p. 80. ISBN 978-0099526797.
  8. ^ "'Holy Grail' Beatles record to be auctioned". BBC News. Retrieved 2016-08-29.
  9. ^ "'Holy Grail' Beatles record sold for £77,500 at auction". BBC News. Retrieved 2016-08-29.
  10. ^ UK Official Singles Chart, UK Official Charts Company, March 29, 1961, retrieved March 14, 2019
  11. ^ "Etta Jones - Something Nice". Allmusic. Retrieved February 15, 2019.
  12. ^ Scott Yanow. "Horn A-Plenty - Al Hirt | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2016-08-29.
  13. ^ "Nana Mouskouri - Nana Mouskouri in New York". Allmusic. Retrieved May 4, 2018.
  14. ^ "Valjean - Till There Was You / The Eighteenth Variation - London - UK - HLL 9593". 45cat.com. 2012-02-10. Retrieved 2016-08-29.
  15. ^ "Sergio Franchi - Broadway...I Love You (Vinyl, LP)". Discogs.com. 2014-06-02. Retrieved 2016-08-29.