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Poor Butterfly

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Wikipedia article

"'Poor Butterfly'" is a popular song. It was inspired by Giacomo Puccini's opera 'Madame Butterfly' and contains a brief musical quote from the Act two duet 'Tutti i fior' in the verse.

The music was written by Raymond Hubbell, the lyrics by John L. Golden. The song was published in 1916. It was introduced in the Broadway show 'The Big Show', which opened in August 1916 at the New York Hippodrome, and was sung in the show by Sophie Bernard.

The song has become a jazz standard, recorded by many artists.

Recorded versions

Biggest hit versions in 1917

The two biggest hit versions in 1917 were recorded by Elsie Baker (using the pseudonym 'Edna Brown') and by the Victor Military Band.

Baker's recording was made on December 15, 1916 and released on Victor as catalog number 18211, with the flip side being a recording of "Alice in Wonderland" by Howard & McDonough.[http://78discography.com/vic18000.html Victor Records in the 18000 to 18499 series]

The Victor Military Band recording was recorded on November 29, 1916 and issued by Victor as catalog number 35605, with the flip side Katinka".

Another version which received a significant amount of popularity was by Grace Kerns recording under the name 'Catherine'[http://78discography.com/COLA2000.htm Columbia Records in the A-2000 to A-2499 series] (or 'Katherine') 'Clark.' This version was recorded in November 1916 and released by Columbia Records as catalog number A-2167, with the flip side Century Girl.

Somewhat less popular, but still noted at the time, were a recording by Elizabeth Spencer, released by Thomas Edison's recording company as a disk, catalog number 50386, and an Amberol cylinder, catalog number 3039, and a recording by Prince's Orchestra (or 'Prince's Band'[http://78discography.com/COLA5500.htm Columbia Records in the A-5500 to A-5999 series]), recorded December 1916 and released by Columbia Records as catalog number A-5930, with the flip side You and I.

An arrangement for violin and orchestra was recorded by Fritz Kreisler on March 1, 1917, and issued on Victor as catalog number 64555.

1954 revival

The song was revived in the 1950s by The Hilltoppers for a top-20 chart hit. Their recording was released by Dot Records as catalog number 15156, with the flip side "Wrapped up in a Dream". It first reached the Billboard magazine Best Seller chart on April 14, 1954 and lasted 5 weeks on the chart, peaking at #15.

(Other sources give the first date on the chart as April 24 and the highest position as #12.) The same recording was released in Canada by Quality Records

as catalog number K1235, with the same flip side.[http://www.globaldogproductions.info/q/quality-ca-k-series.html Quality Records in the K1001 to K1999 series]

Other recorded versions

*Cannonball Adderley from the album 'Cannonball Takes Charge' (Riverside 1959)

*Julie Andrews in 1967 for the film Thoroughly Modern Millie and released on the soundtrack album.

*Vikki Carr released song in album 'Discovery' (1964) as medley "Poor Butterfly / Stay" [http://www.vikkicarrdiscography.net/albums-5.html Vikki Carr Discography]

*Herman Chittison Trio (recorded February 2, 1945, released by Musicraft Records as catalog number 323, with the flip side These Foolish Things[http://78discography.com/Musicraft200.htm Musicraft Records in the 201 to 597 series])

*Arnett Cobb and his orchestra (recorded June 14, 1953, released by Mercury Records as catalog number 70101, with the flip side Congratulations to Someone[http://78discography.com/Merc700.htm Mercury Records in the 70000 to 70499 series])

*Paul Desmond from the album 'Glad to Be Unhappy' (RCA 1963)

*Columbia Saxophone Sextette (recorded January 24, 1917, released by Columbia Records as catalog number A-2203, with the flip side Katinka: Allah's Holiday)

*Hank D'Amico Sextette (released by MGM Records as catalog number 10641, with the flip side If Dreams Come True[http://78discography.com/MGM10500.htm MGM Records in the 10500 to 10999 series])

*Anita Darian in 1960 on the self-titled album Anita Darian (later titled East of the Sun), Kapp Records KL-1168

*Guido Deiro (recorded January 1917, released by Columbia Records as catalog number A-2202, with the flip side Madame Butterfly)

*Deanna Durbin (recorded October 9, 1941, released by Decca Records as catalog number 18297B, with the flip side Annie Laurie[http://78discography.com/Dec18000.htm Decca Records in the 18000 to 18499 series])

*The Ebon-Knights (released 1958 by Stepheny Records as catalog number 1817, with the flip side "The Way the Ball Bounces"[http://www.globaldogproductions.info/s/stepheny.html Stepheny Records in the 1801 to 1843 series])

*Emerson Symphony Orchestra (recorded January 1917, released by Emerson Records as catalog number 7123, with the flip side Shadowland[http://78discography.com/Emerson700.htm Emerson Records in the 700 to 799 and 7100 to 7556 series])

*Erroll Garner Trio (recorded June 28, 1950, released by Columbia Records as catalog number 39145, with the flip side How High the Moon,[http://78discography.com/COL39000.htm Columbia Records in the 39000 to 39499 series] also released by Columbia Records as catalog number 39166, with the flip side Long Ago (and Far Away))

*Booker Ervin from the album 'The Book Cooks' (Bethlehem 1961)

*Benny Goodman and his orchestra (recorded June 1944, released by Silvertone Records as catalog number 545, with the flip side The Sheik;[http://78discography.com/SRC.htm Silvertone Records listing] re-recorded October 15, 1946, released by Harmony Records as catalog number Ha1061, with the flip side Cherry[http://78discography.com/Harobie.htm Harmony Records in the 1001 to 1087 series])

*Charles Harrison (recorded February 1917, released by Columbia Records as catalog number A-2206, with the flip side My Rosary for You)

*Al Hibbler with Billy Strayhorn's Orchestra (released in 1949 by Sunrise Records as catalog number 503,[http://78discography.com/SunriseChi.htm Sunrise Records listing] also by Miracle Records as catalog number M-503,[http://78discography.com/Miracle.htm Miracle Records listing] both with the flip side Tonight I Shall Sleep; also released by Chess Records in 1951 as catalog number 1569, with the flip side Fat and Forty[http://78discography.com/Chess.htm Chess Records in the 1475 to 1750 series])

*Al Hirt released a version on his 1962 album, 'Trumpet and Strings'[http://www.allmusic.com/album/trumpet-and-strings-mw0000910613 Al Hirt, 'Trumpet and Strings'] Retrieved April 8, 2013. and was also featured on his greatest hits album, 'The Best of Al Hirt'[http://www.allmusic.com/album/the-best-of-al-hirt-mw0001227031 Al Hirt, 'The Best of Al Hirt'] Retrieved April 11, 2013.

*Ahmad Jamal from the album 'At the Pershing, Vol. 2' (Argo 1958) (released 1960 by Argo Records as catalog number 5370, with the flip side "Billy Boy"[http://www.globaldogproductions.info/a/argo.html Argo Records in the 5251 to 5569 series])

*Harry James released a version in 1981 on his album 'For Listening And Dancing' (Reader's Digest RD4A 213)

*Bunk Johnson & Don Ewell, April 1946

*Jack Kane (released 1958 by Coral Records as catalog number 62038, on the Grammy Award nominated album 'Kane is Able'.[http://www.globaldogproductions.info/c/coral-62000-series-us.html Coral Records in the 62000 to 62565 series])

*Yusef Lateef from the album 'The Fabric of Jazz' (Savoy 1959)

*Andy Kirk and Clouds of Joy (released by Decca Records as catalog number 1663A, with the flip side Lover, Come Back to Me;[http://78discography.com/Dec1500.htm Decca Records in the 1500 to 1999 series] also released 1950 by Coral Records as catalog number 60344, with the flip side "I'll Get By (As Long As I Have You)"[http://www.globaldogproductions.info/c/coral-60000-series-us.html Coral Records in the 60000 to 60999 series])

*Johnny Long and his orchestra (released by Signature Records as catalog number 15196A, with the flip side Night and Day,[http://78discography.com/Signiature.htm Signature Records in the listed tecords series] also released 1952 by Coral Records as catalog number 60706, with the flip side "Home"; re-released by Coral in 1954 as catalog number 61172, with the flip side "Only Forever"[http://www.globaldogproductions.info/c/coral-61000-series-us.html Coral Records in the 61000 to 60999 series])

*Freddie Martin his orchestra. Released by Capitol Records circa 1960.

*Grady Martin and his Slewfoot 5 (released by Decca Records as catalog number 28689, with the flip side Bandera[http://78discography.com/Dec28500.htm Decca Records in the 28500 to 28999 series])

*Susannah McCorkle included a version on her 1985 album 'How Do You Keep the Music Playing'.

*George McMurphy and his orchestra (recorded June 18, 1928, released by Columbia Records as catalog number 1498D, with the flip side Allah's Holiday[http://78discography.com/COL1000D.htm Columbia Records in the 1000D to 1499D series])

*Eddie "Piano" Miller (released 1950 by Rainbow Records as catalog number 90099, with the flip side "I'm A Ding Dong Daddy From Dumas",[http://www.globaldogproductions.info/r/rainbow.html Rainbow Records listing] also released 1952 by Quality Records (Canada) as catalog number K1063, with the flip side "Pagan Love Song")

*Lee Morse and her Bluegrass Boys (recorded January 25, 1928, released by Columbia Records as catalog number 1328D, with the flip side After We Kiss)

*Red Nichols and his orchestra (vocal: Scrappy Lambert) (recorded March 2, 1928, released by Brunswick Records as catalog number 20062A, with the flip side Can't Yo' Heah Me Callin' Caroline;[http://78discography.com/BRN20000.htm Brunswick Records in the 20000 to 20123 series] re-recorded October 2, 1939, released by Bluebird Records as catalog number 10522B, with the flip side A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody[http://78discography.com/BB10500.htm Bluebird Records in the 10500 to 10999 series])

*Path Dance Orchestra (released by Path Records as catalog number 20150, with the flip side Home Again[http://78discography.com/Pathe20000.htm Path Records in the 20000 to 20499 series])

*The Pied Pipers (released by Capitol Records as catalog number 10159, with the flip side My Melancholy Baby[http://78discography.com/Capitol10000.htm Capitol Records in the 10000 to 10210 series])

*Leo Reisman and his orchestra (recorded April 13, 1941, released by Victor Records as catalog number 27435, with the flip side Limehouse Blues,[http://78discography.com/vic27000.html Victor Records in the 27000 to 27499 series] also as catalog number 27627, with the flip side April in Paris[http://78discography.com/vic27500.html Victor Records in the 27500 to 27999 series])

*Rita Reys in 1961 for her live album Jazz Pictures At An Exhibition and in 1979 for her album That Old Feeling.

*Sonny Rollins with J. J. Johnson from the album 'Sonny Rollins, Vol. 2' (Blue Note 1957)

*Ccile McLorin Salvant A Cappella Version 2015 Archived at [https://ghostarchive.org/varchive/youtube/20211205/AZ_F_potBug Ghostarchive] and the [https://web.archive.org/web/20130910192137/http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZ_F_potBug&gl=US&hl=en Wayback Machine]:

*Doc Severinsen and the Tonight Show Band included a version on their September 16, 1991 album "Once More... With Feeling".

*Sherbo's Castle-by-Sea Orchestra (recorded January 1917, released by Path Records as catalog number 20132, with the flip side Topsy)

*Frank Sinatra and the Duke Ellington Orchestra recorded in 1967 on the album 'Francis A. & Edward K.'

*Joseph C. Smith's Orchestra (recorded January 19, 1917, released by Victor Records as catalog number 18246A, with the flip side Allah's Holiday)

*Willie "The Lion" Smith (recorded December 1950, released by Commodore Records as catalog number 654, with the flip side Smoke Gets in Your Eyes[http://78discography.com/Commodore.htm Commodore Records listing])

*Dodie Stevens (released in 1959 by Dot Records as catalog number 15975 in the United States, and by London Records as catalog number HL-1560 in Australia, with the flip side Miss Lonely Hearts[http://www.globaldogproductions.info/l/london-a-oz.html London Records (Australia) in the HL-1001 to HL-1999 series]

*Pat Suzuki on her album "The Many Sides of Pat Suzuki", released 1957.*Victor Sylvester and his orchestra (released by Decca Records as catalog number 1070, with the flip side Vienna, City of My Dreams[http://78discography.com/Dec1000.htm Decca Records in the 1000 to 1499 series])

*Art Tatum (recorded 1945, released by ARA Records as catalog number 4502, with the flip side Lover[http://78discography.com/ARA4500.htm ARA Records in the 4501 to 4515 series])

*Bobby True Trio (recorded June 1947, released by Mercury Records as catalog number 5073, with the flip side Why Should I Cry Over You?[http://78discography.com/Merc050.htm Mercury Records in the 5000 to 5497 series])

*Sarah Vaughan released by Mercury Records in the United States as catalog number 71085 and in Australia as catalog number 45169,[http://www.globaldogproductions.info/m/mercury-45000-series-oz.html Mercury Records (Australia) in the 45001 to 45492 series] both with the flip side "April Give Me One More Day", becoming a signature tune for her

*Paul Weston Orchestra (released by Capitol Records as catalog number 54-520,[http://78discography.com/Capitol500.htm Capitol Records in the 500 to 999 series] also released by Capitol Records as catalog number 10130, both with the flip side Time on My Hands)

*Paul Whiteman and his orchestra (recorded February 7, 1928, released by Victor Records as catalog number 24078, with the flip side San[http://78discography.com/vic24000.html Victor Records in the 24000 to 24499 series])

*Florence Wright (recorded February 11, 1950, released by National Records as catalog number 9105, with the flip side Imagination[http://78discography.com/NationalLate.htm National Records in the 3001 to 25000 series][http://www.globaldogproductions.info/n/national.html Another National Records listing])


Category:1916 songs

Category:Songs with music by John Raymond Hubbell

Category:Songs from musicals

Category:1910s jazz standards

Category:Vikki Carr songs

Category:Bluebird Records singles

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