When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano

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"When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano" is a song written by Leon René and first recorded by The Ink Spots featuring Bill Kenny in May 1940.[1]

The Ink Spots' recording of the song reached #4 on the US charts, and a recording by Glenn Miller reached #2 the same year.[2] Other recordings were made at about the same time by Xavier Cugat and Gene Krupa. The song was later recorded by Fred Waring, Guy Lombardo, Billy May, Pat Boone—whose version reached #80 on the Billboard Top 100 Chart in 1957 (The Billboard Hot 100 Chart was established on August 4, 1958 issue), as the B-side of "April Love"—The Five Satins, Chris Blount and Elvis Presley, among many others.[3]

René wrote the song as a tribute to the annual springtime return of the cliff swallows to Mission San Juan Capistrano in Southern California. A glassed-off room in the mission was later designated in René's honor, and displays the upright piano on which he composed the tune, the reception desk from his office, several copies of the song's sheet music and other pieces of furniture, all donated by René's family.