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My One and Only
(What Am I Gonna Do?)

Written: 1927

Music by: George Gershwin

Words by: Ira Gershwin

Written for: Funny Face (show)

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Ella Fitzgerald


"My One and Only"

with Ellis Larkins, piano

Amazon iTunes

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"My One and Only"

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About the Show Funny Face / Origins of "My One and Only"

Other songs written for Funny Face currently included in the Cafe Songbook Catalog of The Great American Songbook:

1. He Loves and She Loves

2. How Long Has This Been Going On? (written for but not used in Broadway production of Funny Face)

3.'S Wonderful


For a complete listing of songs used in the original Broadway production of Funny Face, see IBDB song list.



book cover: Edward Jablonskie, "Gershwin A Biography"
Edward Jablonski
A Biography,

New York: Doubleday, 1987
(paper bound edition shown)








Astaire, The Man, The Dancer by Bob Thomas

Bob Thomas
Astaire, The Man, The Dancer The Life of Fred Astaire
New York: St. Martins Press, 1984


The Astaires Fred and Adele by Kathleen Riley
Kathleen Riley
The Astaires: Fred & Adele
New York: Oxford UP, 2012



Alex Aarons, Vinton Freedley and The Alvin Theater

The Alvin Theater, located on West 52nd St. in the Broadway theater district of New York City, was named for the two producers who built it in 1926-27. The name was created from the first syllables of their first names: "Al" + "Vin." (As of 1983, The Alvin was renamed the Neil Simon Theater.)

Funny Face was the first show to be staged at the Alvin, opening on November 22, 1927. Aarons and Freedley also produced the Gershwins' three previous hit shows Lady, Be Good! (1924), Tip-Toes (1925) and Oh, Kay! (1926), using some of the profits from them to build the new house.


book cover: Deena Rosenberg, "Fascinating Rhythm: The Collaboration of George and Ira Gershwin"
Deena Rosenberg
Fascinating Rhythm: The Collaboration of George and Ira Gershwin,
Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1991, 1997
(soft cover Ed.)


Fred Astaire autobiography "Steps in Time"
Fred Astaire
Steps in Time:
An Autobiography

New York: Harper & Brothers
1959 (paperback Ed., 2008)

Funny Face, originally titled Smarty, first previewed under the latter name at the Shubert Theater in Philadelphia on October 11, 1927. Subsequent tryouts took place in Washington DC, and Wilmington, Delaware before the show opened as Funny Face on Broadway on November 22, 1927 for a run of 244 performances. This number came close to matching the Gershwins' previous hit, Oh, Kay! (256 performances) in 1926, but could not approach equalling (just to show the competition of the era) contemporaneous shows like A Connecticut Yankee with score by Rodgers and Hart, Vincent Youmans' Hit the Deck or Show Boat with music by Jerome Kern and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II (which ran for 572 performances), not to mention several other shows of that year with even longer runs. Funny Face also had a London run of 267 opening on Nov. 8, 1928, with a new cast, excepting Fred and Adele Astaire whose popularity in Britain provided a substantial boost to ticket sales there.

The bookfor Funny Face was written by Fred Thompson and Paul Gerard Smith, the latter replacing Robert Benchley the very popular New Yorker writer, theater critic and humorist during previews while the show was still titled Smarty.

The rather extended period of previews for Funny Face (six weeks worth) noted above was due in part to the show being fraught with problems including the departure under pressure of Benchley. When the producers brought the famous man on board his reputation made them smell success but the book he and Thompson wrote proved unwieldy and Benchley bowed out with the partly self-critical remark, "Gosh, how can I criticize other people's shows if I had anything to do with this?" (The Gershwins, p. 80). George Gershwin biographer Edward Jablonski reports that to Ira Gershwin "the show's pre-New York version "looked like a failure." Ira went on to say that during the period of previews there was an enormous amount of "recasting, rewriting, rehearsing, [and] recriminating -- [but] of rejoicing there was none." Jablonksi writes that Fred Astaire called that time "Agony," and that the entire show including the scoregot redone and some of the cast members replaced. Coincidentally, Richard Rodgers was in Philadelphia for the try-outs of his and Lorenz Hart's show A Connecticut Yankee and caught a preview of the Gershwin show. Rodgers wrote of Smarty in a letter to Dorothy Feiner, his future wife, "God will have to do miracles if it's going to be fixed" (Katherine Riley, The Astaires: Fred & Adele, p. 112). More importantly in the long run, Allan Kearns came in for Stanley Ridges to play opposite Adele Astarie and the comic actors Victor Moore and Earl Hampton were added, quite successfully, to play the inept jewel thieves. Jablonski comments that although the producers finally saw some things they liked, the book remained "a piece of fluff about jewel robbery" involving an aviator, an attempt to cash in on all the current fuss about Lindbergh. Adele Astaire played her usual "charming ingenue" role while Fred was her "foster-brother" and "suffering guardian." With hindsight, Astaire summed things up:

Finally we went into Wilmington Delaware, for a three night stand. We were changing it and changing it, and we really didn't know what we had. But we were due in at the Alvin Theater [on Broadway], and we had a smash hit. We had the show right [in Wilmington] but we didn't know what we had (Bob Thomas, Astaire, p. 59).

During the tryouts the producers were rather rough on the Gershwins' songs. As a result, George and Ira were forced to come up with an extraordinary amount of new material. Astonishingly, a flood of 24 songs emanated from the brothers for Smarty/Funny Face of which eleven fell by the wayside by the time the troubled previews were over -- though several of these, including "How Long Has This Been Going On?" survived to appear in later shows (including the 1983 hit My One and Only), and, in its case, go on to become a standard. Perhaps the last straw of the taxing preview period came when, upon departing Wilmington, George, feeling the show was finally ready for Broadway and they could return to New York with some degree of relief, discovered he had lost his tune book containing forty as yet unused songs. After a frantic but unsuccessful attempt to recover it, he expressed a form of self-confident resignation reserved for geniuses, and optimistic ones at that, suggesting there were more where those came from (Jablonski, pp. 144-145). He was right, of course.

The reviews of Funny Face contained some common strains: the book was eminently forgettable, the Gershwin songs were an asset (an estimate that with hindsight would now certainly seem an understatement), but the key element for the show's eventual success would be the dancing of the Astaires (for whom Funny Face would be their last joint appearance in a musical). Jablonski quotes a couple of the better known critics as follows:

George Jean Nathan spoke for most when he wrote in Judge magazine that "the Astaire team lifts the evening as they lifted equally dubious vehicles and sends the show gaily over. If there are better dancers anywhere I must have been laid up with old war wounds when they displayed themselves." Alexander Woollcott underscored the Astaire-Gershwin affinity with "I don't know whether George Gershwin was born into this world to write rhythms for Fred Astaire's feet or whether Fred Astaire was born into this world to show how the Gershwin music should really be danced" (Gershwin
A Biography,
p. 145, hardcover Ed.).

Kathleen Riley quotes the New York Sun review of Funny Face from November 23, 1927, the day after the show's Broadway opening:

They are a sort of champagne cup of motion, those Astaires. They live, laugh and leap in a world that is all bubbles. They are sleek, long-shanked, blissfully graceful, both of them. Their dance steps flash and quiver with an intricacy which declines to be taken seriously but which is none the less a maker of marvels (The Astaires: Fred & Adele New York: Oxford UP, 2012, p. 111).

The song "My One and Only" was originally published in October, 1927, with the title "What Am I Gonna Do?" a title that was used in most of the programs during the original Broadway run. It was introduced in Funny Face by Fred Astaire (as Jimmy), Gertrude McDonald (as June), Betty Compton (as Dora) and girls chorus line. According to Robert Kimball, the British edition of the sheet music contained lyrics for a second verse that did not appear in the US edition, and which were not likely written by Ira Gershwin.

In his autobiography, Steps in Time, Fred doesn't spend much time talking about "My One and Only" beyond mentioning that his performance of it with "the lovely," as he dubbed her, Gertrude McDonald was one of the positive features of a show even during the dismal period of it's tryouts when everything seemed to be going wrong. He might also have been fond of his performance because it was, as Deena Rosenberg points out, "his first major solo love song" as well as his first "seduction dance." Fred and his sister Adele were the stars of the show but they never played opposite each other as a couple. He dances and sings, "My one and only / What am I gonna do if you turn me down / When I'm so crazy over you" to Gertrude's character June as a way of assuring her of his affections if not of seducing her. In the number he partly sings and partly taps the Gershwins' song, thus unifying lyric, music and dance. Who wouldn't be seduced?

Listen to Fred Astaire as he sings and dances to "My One and Only"
in the London production of Funny Face, The YouTube uploader gives December 4, 1928 as the date the recording was made, which was, in fact, during the London run of Funny Face, just several weeks after the opening there. (This is the same track as on album shown in the record / video cabinet.)

Songs Written for Funny Face (1927) and later used in My One and Only (1983)

  1. "Funny Face"
  2. "High Hat"
  3. "He Loves and She Loves"
  4. "In the Swim"
  5. "'S Wonderful"
  6. "My One and Only"
  7. How Long Has This Been Going On? (written for but not used in the Broadway production of Funny Face)

Gershwin songs from other shows or movies
used in My One and Only

  1. "I Can't Be Bothered Now" (from A Damsel in Distress, movie 1937)
  2. "Blah, Blah, Blah" (from Delicious, show 1931)
  3. "Boy Wanted" (from A Dangerous Maid, show 1921)
  4. "Soon" (from Strike Up the Band show 1929)
  5. "Sweet and Low-Down" (from Tip-Toes, show 1925)
  6. "Just Another Rhumba" 1937 (from The Goldwyn Follies, movie 1938
  7. "Strike Up the Band" (from Strike Up the Band show 1927)
  8. "Nice Work If You Can Get It" (from A Damsel in Distress, movie 1937)
  9. "Kickin' The Clouds Away" (from Tell Me More show 1925)

Original Cast Album
My One and Only
Original Cast Album: "My One and Only"

Amazon iTunes

Two other Broadway shows with scores, like My One and Only, populated by songs from previous Gershwin shows and movies are:

  1. Crazy for You (1992)
  2. Nice Work If You Can Get It (2012)



My One And Only (the 1983 show)

In the early 1980s, an attempt was made to revive the Gershwin scored show Funny Face, originally on Broadway in 1927. Before it opened, however, it underwent an almost total re-do, not to mention a considerable bout of sturm und drang involving the firing of director Peter Sellars. When on May 1, 1983, it finally made its appearance at the St. James Theater, it bore the title My One and Only after one of the original Funny Face songs that had been sung and danced to by Fred Astaire over fifty years before. It is interesting to note that My One and Only went through a series of convulsions that were remarkably parallel to those experienced its progenitor Funny Face. In previews it appeared to be headed for disaster but by the time in got Broadway it was a very different story (both literally and figuratively). Variety described the Boston opening as "a disjointed directionless jumble," but by the time the show opened in New York it was a critical success and a hit. Variety revised its Boston estimate by writing, "one of the most successful salvage efforts in recent Broadway history" (for a fuller account of this see Howard Pollack, George Gershwin: His Life and Work, pp. 414-416).

"My One and Only" not only became part of the score for this new show but served as its title as well. Six other songs from the original score (out of the original twelve) were used and eleven others were cherry picked from various other Gershwin shows. The book, although still set in 1927 presented a very different story involving a barnstorming aviator from Texas (Tommy Tune) and a champion swimmer (Twiggy). Tune along with Thommie Walsh wound up directing (with an uncredited hand from Mike Nichols) as well as doing the choreography. More than being integral to the plot, the Gershwin songs, in the tradition of a revue, were the core of what turned out to be a very imaginative and effective series of song and dance numbers. It was these numbers that were mainly responsible for the show's success as reflected in its almost two year Broadway run and nine Tony nominations including wins for best performance by a leading actor in a musical (Tune), best performance by a featured actor in a musical (Charles "Honi" Coles) and best choreography (Tune and Walsh).

Tommy Tune and Charles "Honi" Coles recreate the dance portion of "My One and Only," from the Broadway show of the same title on the Merv Griffin Show, June, 1983 -- shortly after the show opened on Broadway. In this scene Tommy (playing famous aviator Captain Billy Buck Chandler) wants Honi (playing Mr. Magix) to teach him how to be cool with his feet.

Tommy Tune and Twiggy sing two songs interpolatedinto My One and Only from previous Gershwin shows: "Boy Wanted" from A Dangerous Maid (1921) and "Soon" from Strike Up the Band (1929). This television performance from shortly after the Broadway opening, May 1, 1983.

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Critics Corner

Isaac Goldberg: George Gershwin A Study in American Music
Issac Goldberg
George Gershwin: A Study in American Music
Originally published, 1931 by Simon and Schuster, New York,
reprinted and supplemented by Edith Garson, Frederick Ungar Publishing Co. 1958.


Howard Pollack

George Gershwin: His Life and Work
Berkeley: Univ. of California Press


Jack Gottlieb, "Funny It Doesn't Sound Jewish"
Jack Gottlieb
Funny, It Doesn't Sound Jewish: How Yiddish Songs and Synagogue Melodies Influenced Tin Pan Alley, Broadway, and Hollywood, State University of New York Press, 2004

There is no shortage of commentators who have noted the influence of Jewish music (of both Yiddish and Hebrew origins) on the melodies and rhythms of songs written by American Jewish songwriters writing for Tin Pan Alley, Broadway musicals and Hollywood movies. Both Irving Berlin and Harold Arlen had fathers who were cantors and the music of Arlen especially has been repeatedly cited in this context. Gershwin not so much, but George's friend and first biographer, the musicologist Isaac Goldberg has singled out "My One and Only" as not only reflecting a Jewish influence but also an African American one, such a combination being widely noted with regard to American popular music of the early and mid-twentieth century as well as in jazz in general. Goldberg writes of "My One and Only" that it is a song "in which the Khassid and the Negro join hands melodically" and in another place that "the song begins Yiddish and ends up Black." Goldberg has also noted that Gershwin himself had said that many of his melodies are Jewish "according to the deep emotional element that flows in them."

Joseph Vass in the liner notes for the CD Gershwin the Klezmer notes that before his involvement with Broadway, Gershwin took his first stab at opera (before Porgy and Bess) in the New York City Yiddish theater. On the album, the previously unrecorded song "Vodka" "shows off Gershwin's unpublicized Klezmer style" while many of Gershwin's famous songs such as "'S Wonderful" and "Someone to Watch over Me" have their parallels in various Jewish melodies (Gershwin the Klezmer, liner notes).

Howard Pollack gets more specific when he writes that Gershwin himself was aware of these issues, worrying, according to one account, that "'Summertime' [from Porgy and Bess] sounded more Yiddish than colored." In fact, Gershwin never hid his debt to Abraham Goldfaden, Yiddish playwright and songwriter. Molly Picon, Yiddish theater singer and actor, remembers Gershwin saying he modeled "My One and Only" after Goldfaden's lullaby, "Schlof in Freydn" ("Sleep in Joy"). Pollack also cites Jack Gottlieb's references to "certain Jewish modes that seem to inform a number of [Gershwin's] melodies and who concludes that "Gershwin, like Irving Berlin, wore his Jewishness more 'comfortably' than did Jerome Kern and Richard Rodgers." To keep things in perspective, however, Pollack also writes, "At the same time many of the typical signifiers of Hebrew and Russian Jewish music -- minor modes, melodic augmented seconds, and hora and slow waltz rhythms --assumed no special prominence in Gershwin's music" (Pollack, p. 46).

In the album Gershwin the Klezmer Maggie Burton, Bruce Henry, and Prudence Johnson along with the ensemble Kkezmerica celebrate the Jewish connection in the music of
George Gershwin.

book cover: Ira Gershwin The Art of the Lyricist by Philip Furia
Philip Furia
Ira Gershwin:
The Art of the Lyricist

New York, Oxford Univ. Press
Much has been made about Songbook lyrics, especially those of Ira Gershwin, that incorporate the parlance of the street, the use of the vernacular as a way of creating distance between the tradition of European operetta and American musical comedy. Philip Furia writes that Ira's lyrics for the songs of Funny Face "bristle with the catch-phrases of the era" including the singer confessing "my cards are on the table" in "My One and Only." He uses such language as a means of letting his would-be love know how completely open he has been about his feelings for her, and "matches George's percussive twelve-note outburst with 'what am I gonna do if you turn me down'," revealing the singer's vulnerability in the down-to-earth, everyday speech of the American urban street (p. 66).
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Lyrics Lounge

Click here to read the lyrics for "My One and Only" as sung by Ella Fitzgerald on the 1959 album The George and Ira Gershwin Songbook and on any of a number of her other albums containing the same track. One of them is Oh Lady Be Good: Best of the Gershwin Songbook. On this track Ella sings only the refrain, neither of the two verses.

Amazon iTunes

The singer Jimmy, played by Fred Astarie in the original production of Funny Face (1927), begins, in the first verse, by stating his case to June, played by Gertrude McDonald, for why she should marry him. As he somewhat smugly sings, it suddenly occurs to him that after he has put his "cards on the table," she might turn him down. This changes the direction of the song from a rather pedestrian unromantic proposal to a "What-am-I-gonna-do" song -- "What Am I Gonna Do? (If you turn me down") having been, in fact, the title of the song as listed in the original program.

In the refrain, Jimmy focuses on this terrible possibility, apparently not previously considered, and how he would feel if she does turn him down. Where will he go once she has blackened "all [his] skies of blue." In the refrain, he shows a bit of emotion but is not really much more romantic. The best he can come up with is that accepting him shouldn't require "any miracle." "This can be done / This can be done" he insistently repeats. He knows a clergyman who can "make us one." His most moving lines are the title, calling her "my one and only" and "I'm so crazy over you." At moments the taps of his shoes substitute for the words of the lyric suggesting he is more comfortable expressing himself with his feet than through romantic language.

The 2nd verse and conclusion to the song is sung by June to Jimmy, who reminds him that his courting skills are woefully lacking: He'd better wake up and speak up, start chanting her praises and stop taking her for granted:

And if you cared, you should have told me long ago;
Dear, otherwise how in the word was I to know?

The song concludes with Jimmy repeating the refrain, repetition apparently being his strong suit. Contrast "My One and Only" to "'S wonderful" sung in the show by the other couple to see how the former is more of a comic love song, the latter one of the great love songs of American theater and popular music.

As mentioned above, Ella sings only the refrain but neither of the two verses. For various reasons, it is not uncommon for singers to omit the verse (or verses) of a song. In this case the song was in its original performance a duet, which, unless the lyric is altered, would not make sense for one person to sing. Also it is often the case for show tunes that the verse, the first verse at least, works as a way of connecting the refrain or main portion of the song to the story of the show, something obviously not required on an out-of-context recording. Finally, a lyric that is too long and involved could hold down sales. Some contemporary songs have taken this point perhaps too much to heart, making the entire not much more than a single line or phrase repeated ad nauseam.

Here are performances found in the Cafe Songbook Record / Video Cabinet for "My One and Only" that include one or both of the song's verses: Jane Green sings both verses apparently playing both parts. Fred Astaire, sings the first verse but only after singing the refrain-- and he actually taps out rather than sings some of the lines. (As he was in the show at the time he made this recording, it would certainly not have made sense for him to sing the second verse.) Lee Wiley sings the first verse, the refrain, and follows an instrumental break with a repeat of the second half of the refrain, omitting verse 2. Sarah Vaughan sings the first verse and the refrain only. In her hands and those of Hall Mooney's orchestra, the song becomes quite romantic with no trace of Astaire's on-stage more pragmatic than winning, almost comic, approach.

For the full published lyric, see The Complete Lyrics of Ira Gershwin:

Robert Kimball, Ed. The Complete Lyrics Of Ira Gershwin, New York: Alfred A. Knoph, 1993; reprinted as paperback by Da Capo Press, 1998.

Click here to read Cafe Songbook lyrics policy.
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("My One and Only" page)


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The Cafe Songbook
Record/Video Cabinet:
Selected Recordings of

"My One and Only"

(All Record/Video Cabinet entries below
include a music-video
of this page's featured song.
The year given is for when the studio
track was originally laid down
or when the live performance was given.)
Performer/Recording Index
(*indicates accompanying music-video)

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Jane Green
album: Jane Green The Best of Vaudeville 1920-1928

same track as on album referenced above

Amazon iTunes

Jane Green (January 2, 1897 - August 28, 1931) was an American singer born in Kentucky named Martha Jane Greene. She appeared in the Ziegfeld Follies, recorded over 30 records, and appeared in some early sound films. She died from a paralytic stroke at age 34.
On the video, Jane Green sings verse1, the refrain, verse 2 and closes with a repeat of the second half (last 7 lines) of the refrain. Thus she sings the lines of both Jimmy (Fred Astaire) and June (Renee Godd who sings the song in the original 1927 cast of Funny Face). She recorded the song in late 1927 shortly after Funny Face opened on Broadway. Her Victor recording 21145-A, on which she is accompanied by Nat Shilkret and his orchestra, reached number 14 on the charts in May, 1928. It was commonplace for publishers to release sheet music for tunes from shows even before the show opened in New York hoping it would be picked up and recorded by singers, thus giving the show and sheet music sales an early boost and vice versa.
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Fred Astaire
album: Fascinatin' Rhythm (The Fred Astaire Story, Vol. 1 1923 - 1933)

same track as on album referenced above

Amazon iTunes

Notes: This is a recording made by Fred while he was appearing in the London cast of Funny Face, which opened there November 8, 1928. Although this is most likely a studio recording it attempts to simulate the on-stage performance in which Fred was accompanied by two pianos and did a tap dance routine during the number. The tapping, which you can hear on the recording, actually replaces several lines from the lyric. There is some indication that George Gershwin was at one of the pianos at this recording session, but we have as yet not been able to confirm this. The dual pianos were an often used musical feature in Gershwin shows of the era. In New York productions, the pianos were generally played by Victor Arden and Phil Ohman. This feature was carried over into the London production and George was in London making recordings there at this time. (You can hear George's piano solo recording of "My One and Only" made in London at about the same time in the next entry down.)
Music-Video: View and listen to the Astaire recording in center column, this page.
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George Gershwin
album: George Gershwin Plays George Gershwin

same track as on album referenced above

Amazon iTunes

Notes: The track for "My One and Only" was created in London at Columbia Studios, June 8, 1928. The album is a two CD set consisting of recordings of George Gershwin on piano made during the 1920's and 1930s. These recordings are not from piano rolls but are Gershwin himself at the piano; and, according to the liner notes, document "Gershwin's commercial recording career including all his commercial solo piano and piano with orchestra recordings." Included are songs made at Columbia studios in London during 1926, some with Gershwin accompanying Fred and Adele Astaire; concert pieces including Rhapsody in Blue with Paul Whiteman and his orchestra in the New York City Victor studios June 10, 1924, four months after the famous premier performance in Aeolian Hall, New York; the finale of Concerto in F (the only recording of him playing any of this work) and An American in Paris with Nat Shilkret; selections from Porgy and Bess with Gershwin accompanying Lawrence Tibbett and Helen Jepson; and various recordings from radio shows.
The "My One and Only" track and others that appear on the album above are also available on the smaller, less expensive album George Gershwin An American In Paris -- both as part of the album and as individual MP3's.
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Lee Wiley
album: Lee Wiley Sings the Songs of George & Ira Gershwin & Cole Porter
(The 1939-1940 Liberty Music Ship Recordings)

same track as on album referenced above

Amazon iTunes

Notes: Lee Wiley's series of albums devoted to the songs of individual songwriters beginning with the Gershwin and Porter albums, combined on the CD shown above, were in fact the first of what has come to be known as songbook albums, now most famously associated with the Songbook albums of Ella Fitzgerald. Lee, however, preceded Ella in this endeavor by some two decades. In the album's liner notes, Larry Carr writes of Lee, who came to New York from her home state of Oklahoma, "Her singing was intimate and intelligent, warm and wistful, sweet and sensual . . . her diction an intriguing amalgam of Oklahoma, Park Avenue and 52nd Street, while her sense of time and phrasing were mesmerizing." Her recording of "My One and Only" on her album devoted to George and Ira Gershwin was made on November 13, 1939 in New York City with Joe Bushkin's Orchestra, Max Kaminsky, trumpet; Bud Freeman, tenor sax; Joe Bushkin, piano and celeste; Artie Shapiro, bass; George Wettling, drums; Brad Gowans, arranger. (Lee sings the first verse, the refrain, and follows an instrumental break with a repeat of the second half of the refrain. She omits verse 2.)
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Eddie Condon
(with Bobby Hackett)
album: Eddie Condon: Dixieland All-Stars (The Original Decca Recordings)

same track as on album referenced above

Amazon iTunes

Notes: The "My One and Only" track includes "Bobby Hackett's clear, ringing trumpet; Teagarden's bourbon-flavored baritone and brilliant stop-time licks; [and] Dave Tough's drumming. . . ." (Amazon reviewer Nicholas Edwards). Lee Wiley, who often sang with the Condon band, does not join them on this version of "My One and Only," which features Hackett's trumpet instead of her vocal.
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Ella Fitzgerald
Pure Ella (The Original Decca Recordings)

same track as on album referenced above

Amazon iTunes

Notes: Ella first recorded "My One and Only" on September 11, 1950 for a Decca 78 RPM 10" album titled Ella Sings Gershwin that included eight songs (four on each side). On this album (produced by Milt Gabler, one of the most important early figures on the business side of jazz -- and, incidentally, Billy Crystal's uncle), she is accompanied by the storied and stately pianist Ellis Larkins. The album itself prefigures her Norman Granz produced single composer albums. The CD Universe product description for these recordings compares them to the full orchestra versions from her 1959 Gershwin songbook album with Nelson Riddle. (See below.): "And while Fitzgerald certainly stood out on those fully orchestrated outings, her many vocal nuances and intimate intensity really come to the fore [with Larkins]."
Music-Video: See Cafe Songbook Main Stage above for 1950 recording with piano accompaniment by Ellis Larkins.
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Paul Bley
album: Paul Bley

Amazon iTunes

Notes: This is an early recording of one of the great jazz pianists. Bley performs "My One and Only" and the rest of this mostly standards album in a straight ahead bop style as part of a trio with Peter Ind on bass and Alan Levitt on drums. Although Amazon only shows the album in MP3 format, Verve did reissue the CD in 2005. The same track is also available on an album titled A Beginners Guide to Jazz Pianists.
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Sarah Vaughan
album: Sarah Vaughan
Sings George Gershwin

same track as on album referenced above

Amazon iTunes

Notes: Recorded in New York City in March and April 1957, the album was originally released on Mercury as a two LP set (Volume 1 and Volume 2) by Mercury records and includes liner notes by Leonard Feather, John Wilson, Ben Young and Peter Keepnews. All tracks have been digitally remastered using 24-bit technology. Personnel includes: Sarah Vaughan (vocals); Jimmy Jones (piano); Hal Mooney And His Orchestra. This is mellow more than sassy Sarah.

". . . Sarah came into the studio unrehearsed and didn't even know many of the songs. She really created the album on the spot. It all has a wonderful feel to it, aided by Hal Mooney's evocative arrangements and Mercury's loving engineering. A gem forever." (from an Amazon customer review).
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Chris Connor
album: Chris Connor Sings The George Gershwin Almanac Of Song

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Notes: Most of these recordings are from a series of 1957 sessions devoted to Chris Connor's interpretations of Gershwin songs. Her versions are in her characteristically cool style and were little known before this compilation was assembled. She is accompanied by jazz stalwarts trumpeter Joe Newman, tenorman Al Cohn, flutist Herbie Mann, vibraphonist Milt Jackson and pianist Ralph Sharon.

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Ella Fitzgerald
album: Ella Fitzgerald Sings The George and Ira Gershwin Songbook

same track as on album referenced above

Amazon iTunes

Notes: The album referenced above is the whole deal; that is, the full 1959 set of Ella's George and Ira Gershwin Songbook album with orchestrations and orchestra conducted by Nelson Riddle, as well as with original documentation. Other editions and formats, mostly less expensive but not as complete in terms of recordings, liner notes, etc. can be viewed by clicking the Amazon button just above.
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Trudy Desmond
album: My One and Only

Amazon iTunes

Notes: (No music-video currently available): "On singer Trudy Desmond's strongest recording up to this point, she explores 13 George Gershwin songs, most of which have lyrics by Ira Gershwin. Rather than run through the usual 'greatest hits,' Desmond alternates well-known pieces with two that had been previously performed only as instrumentals ("Walking the Dog" and "Piano Prelude II") and a few lesser-known numbers. The arrangements are full of subtle surprises, often given unexpected rhythms. Desmond is assisted by a variety of rhythm section players including either Bill Mays, Don Thompson (doubling on vibes) or Doug Riley on piano, bassist Neil Swainson, drummer Ron Vincent, and Ed Bickert or Ted Quinlan on guitar. Recommended." Scott Yanow, CD Universe Product Description for Desmond's album My One and Only. The track of "My One and Only" also appears on her 2005 compilation CD Dream Come True: The Best of Trudy Desmond.
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Jane Monheit
album: Home

same track as on the MP3 version of the album referenced above

Amazon iTunes

Notes: The track for "My One and Only" is an "international" bonus track available only on the MP3 album, not on the CD in the U.S. (Therefore, we are not absolutely certain who is accompanying her on the single. Her usual pianist is either Michael Kanan or Larry Goldings. They both appear on the album Home. The very nice Guitar break on the bonus album track, is probably by Frank Vignola, who plays on other album tracks.
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