“The wonderful beam Charles is given cost-free rein at the piano as trombonist Steve Turre leader the group through a medium-paced version of the song.”

- Ben Maycock

AKAJust the method You look at Tonight
MusicJerome Kern
LyricsDorothy Fields

Fred Astaire introduced “The way You look Tonight” in the RKO music Swing Time, the sixth of ten movies he would star in through Ginger Rogers. For the film, Dorothy Fields and also Jerome Kern wrote among the most renowned film scores of every time, with “The method You look at Tonight,” beating the end “I’ve obtained You Under mine Skin” and also “Pennies native Heaven” to win the 1936 Academy compensation for best song.

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More ~ above Fred Astaire

Swing Time was a goldmine for Fred Astaire. He recorded 5 of the 7 songs that written the score and also each one ended up being a hit. “The means You look Tonight” climbed up the popular music charts to settle at the number one slot for 6 weeks. The flip next to that document was “Pick yourself Up” which climbed to number six. “A fine Romance” was almost as well received, increasing to number one for five weeks when its flip side, the important “Waltz in totter Time,” peaked in ~ number sixteen. “Never Gonna Dance” to be a number five hit through its flip side, “Bojangles of Harlem,” attaining seventeenth position. Every of the recordings was made v Johnny Green and His Orchestra, and the only song that did not become a hit was the short dance number “It’s not in the Cards.”

“The method You look Tonight” was extended by a number of groups, notably

male Lombardo and His royal Canadians (1936, #3) Teddy Wilson and His Orchestra (1936, billy Holiday, vocal, #3) Benny Goodman and His Orchestra (1942, Peggy Lee, vocal, #21) The Letterman (1961, #13)


Chart info used through permission fromJoel Whitburn's pop Memories 1890-1954

Originally titled I i will not ~ Dance, after ~ the Kern tune in 1935’s Roberta, then never Gonna Dance, totter Time gift Fred and also Ginger at the peak of their form dancing to a phenomenal score. The film verified a advertising success and endures to this day as among their optimal vehicles regardless of a flimsy plot that critics have dubbed tedious, nearly non-existent, and even asinine.

More on Jerome Kern

Rather than Astaire to sing “The way You look Tonight” straight to Rogers, perhaps in an night gown top top a balcony, the film takes a lighter approach. Astaire plays the piano and sings come no one, if Ginger Rogers is washing she hair in the following room. Unexpectedly, she to walk in on him together he completes the song.

More ~ above Dorothy Fields

More details on this tune...

Allen ForteListening to classic American well-known SongsYale university Press; book & CD editionHardcover: 219 pages(Author/educator Forte supplies six pages of info on the song, including its history, the lyric, and analyses of both the lyric and music. There is likewise a companion CD.)

- Jeremy Wilson

This section argues definitive or otherwise far-reaching recordings the will aid jazz students get acquainted with“The method You look at Tonight.” these recordings have been selected indigenous the Jazz background andCD referrals sections.Billie Holiday come up through a classic vocal variation of “The way You look at Tonight” in 1936 (The Quintessential billy Holiday, Vol.2: 1936) donate by a small group special the particularly swinging rhythm ar playing the bassist Milt Hinton, drummer Gene Krupa and pianist/bandleader Teddy Wilson. Eventually, the tune became popular as an up-tempo number, and also two post-bebop versions native the 1950s show its applications in this way. Arts Blakey’s nascent Jazz Messengers shed through the track in a live recording made in 1954 at Birdland in new York (A Night at Birdland, Vol. 2). Clifford Brown, Lou Donaldson and Horace silver- all shine. Then, in what may have been saxophonist Johnny Griffin’s defining moment, he took on Hank Mobley and also John Coltrane in a tape-recorded “cutting contest” in 1957. This record (A Blowin’ Session) consisted of an completely blistering power of “The method You watch Tonight”

Noah Baerman - Jazz Pianist and Educator

The instant popularity that Kern’s score was no accident. In The Melody Lingers On: The an excellent Songwriters and also Their Movie Musicals, writer Roy Hemming states of waver Time, “Neither the snapshot nor the score ‘swings’ in the true feeling of the era’s swing music craze. But Kern’s score is, overall, his many unabashedly and also buoyantly pop-oriented.” True to the pop style, “The means You watch Tonight” is in the A-A-B-A, 32-bar form with no verse.

Also in top type is Dorothy Fields, that supports Kern’s sensuous composition through lyrics the tell of the desire to capture a moment, saving a beautiful memory for the future. Statements of admiration: “you’re lovely,” “your smile so warm,” “your cheeks therefore soft,” describe the vision to be saved. Areas is frequently praised for “The method You watch Tonight” and her contribution to the totter Time score in general. In simple to Remember: The great American Songwriters and Their Songs, writer William Zinsser comment on the pairing of the 50-year-old Kern and the 30-year-old fields saying, “The young lyricist attracted out that the famously intractable enlarge composer a score of inexplicable zest.” Allen Forte, in listening to standard American well-known Songs says of “The means You watch Tonight”: “In short, she has created extraordinarily intricate and, yes, poetic lyrics, lyrics that I would certainly compare through the best of Lorenz Hart’s.” -JW

Musical evaluation of“The means You watch Tonight”

OriginalKeyEb major;bridge shifts to Gb majorFormA – A – B– A through an eight-bar extensionTonalityPrimarilymajorMovementThere aredownward leaps, ascending step-wise in “A”section. The “B” section consists of repeatednotes relocating in skips and steps in bothdirections end a relatively narrow selection (lessthan an octave). There room sustained notesthroughout.


This is the ns – using – ii – V7 progression(“Heart and Soul,” “These Foolish Things”) however with some substitutionsand variations. For example, the secondtime with the progression in “A,” a iiichord is substituted for I, and the vi becomesa VI7(b9). “B” walk the exact same thing in thebIII vital (Gb in the original), substitutinga #i˚7 because that the through (in theoriginal: Gb – G˚7 – Abm). Modulationback come the tonic crucial isaccomplished by way of going to therelative boy (Eb minor) v the through –III7becoming a “pivot,” transforming into the V7of the early tonic key.

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K. J. McElrath - Musicologist for urbanbreathnyc.com

Often an translate of a song is for this reason engrained in the psyche the it’s tough to think of it in one more way. Fred Astaire’s version of this opus together a ballad led the way for a variety of covers by vocalists, most notably billie Holiday’s through the Teddy Wilson Orchestra and Peggy Lee’s v the Benny Goodman Sextet.

Guitarist and nightclub owner Eddie Condon was an indefatigable proponent that the style of jazz referred to as “Dixieland,” return he and also his musicians disliked the stereotypical term. On a rarely occasion once they were enabled to document something various other than “Muskrat Ramble” and “Jazz Me Blues,” Condon’s crew laid down a scorching, up-tempo variation of “The method You look at Tonight” in 1946 that led the method for various other versions at a similar tempo.

Chris Tyle - Jazz Musician and Historian

Billie HolidayThe Quintessential billy Holiday, Vol. 2, 1936Sony 40790
Benny Goodman1942Classics 1324
Eddie Condon1944-46Classics 1033

Additional details for "The way You look Tonight" may be discovered in:

Allen ForteListening to classic American renowned SongsYale college Press; publication & CD editionHardcover: 219 pages(6 pages including the following types of information: history, lyric analysis, music analysis and track lyrics. (Book includes CD).)

Alec WilderAmerican popular Song: The good Innovators, 1900-1950Oxford college Press; Reprint editionHardcover: 576 pages(3 paragraphs including the following varieties of information: music analysis.)

Allen ForteThe American popular Ballad that the gold Era, 1924-1950: A study in music DesignPrinceton college PressHardcover: 336 pages(5 pages consisting of the following varieties of information: music analysis.)

Thomas S. HischakThe American music Film tune EncyclopediaGreenwood PressHardcover: 536 pages(1 paragraph consisting of the following types of information: summary, lyric evaluation and music analysis.)

Max MorathThe NPR Curious Listener"s guide to renowned StandardsPerigee BooksPaperback: 235 pages(1 paragraph including the following varieties of information: background and performers.)

Susan SackettHollywood Sings!: An inside Look in ~ Sixty year of Academy Award-Nominated SongsPub Overstock countless IncPaperback: 332 pages(5 paragraphs including the following varieties of information: history.)

Robert Gottlieb, Robert Kimball analysis LyricsPantheonHardcover: 736 pages(Includes the following varieties of information: tune lyrics.)

Gerald Mast Can"t aid Singin"Overlook Press; Rei editionPaperback: 400 pages(1 paragraph consisting of the following species of information: music analysis.)