09 June 2012

It's Been A Long, Long Time

"It's Been A Long, Long Time" is a 1945 popular song that became a major hit at the end of World War II. The lyrics are written from the perspective of a person welcoming home his or her spouse or lover at the end of the war. The music was written by Jule Styne (1905-1994), the lyrics by Sammy Cahn (1913-1993).
A recording by Harry James with vocal by Kitty Kallen reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on 24 November 1945. An alternate version by Bing Crosby accompanied by The Les Paul Trio was also working its way up the charts. It replaced the James' version at #1 on 8 December 1945. Crosby's lasted a week at #1, ousted by Sammy Kaye's "Chickery Chick." The Harry James recording then returned to the top spot on 22 December for another week. In 1945 it was standard practice in the record industry for labels to release "competing" versions of hit songs.
Crosby's version features some memorable guitar by Les Paul (1915-2009), who recalled in an interview printed in Mojo magazine: "Bing was a sucker for guitar and that particular song was a case of you don't have to play a lot of notes, you just have to play the right notes."

It was recorded by Les Paul and Mary Ford for Columbia Records. In 1975 it was recorded by Chet Atkins with Les Paul on their album Chester and Lester.

Bing Crosby and Les Paul perform "It's Been A Long, Long Time":

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