In 1959 Shirley had a Number One Hit with As I Love You
Followed by I Reach For The Stars, another Number One
and its B-side Climb Ev’ry Mountain from 1961
Thanks to ukcharthits
This version of AILY sounds like a later recording.
As I Love You
Written by Raymond B. Evans / Jay Livingston.
Released 1958 on a single. The selling started slow, but a chance appearance as a last minute substitute on “Saturday Night At The London Palladium” where she performed this song at the end of 1958 helped Shirley Bassey to become well known at that time and so the single sold very well. In the early 1959 Kiss Me, Honey, Honey, Kiss Me reached No. 3 in the UK charts and “As I Love You” reached No. 1 where it stayed several weeks. For some time these two records were running neck and neck in popularity and Shirley Bassey became the first female singer since 1954 to have two records in the top five. This was the first No. 1 hit for Shirley Bassey.
It is remarkable that this song had already been recorded by several top American performers without great success. For example this song had been performed in 1955 by Joe Williams with the band of Count Basie.
The song was contained in the 1959 album The Bewitching Miss Bassey (length 2:52).
A fresher arrangement has been released 1969 on the album Does Anybody Miss Me? (length 2:07).
Also recorded together with the London Symphony Orchestra 1984 on the album I Am What I Am (length 3:00).
A live recording was released 1970 on the album Live at Talk of the Town and Shirley Bassey has performed the song at many shows and concerts, also again on some recent events like for example on the Stately Homes Tour 2001 and Thank You for the Years 2003.
Most CD collections contain the 1958 version, but the 1969 version has been released digitally remastered on CD 1993 on Shirley Bassey – The Collection and in 2000 on The Greatest Hits – This Is My Life.
This song was also part of the soundtrack of the film “The Big Beat” (1958). Musical highlights in this film have been Gogi Grant, Fats Domino (“I’m Walking”) and The Diamonds. The film was about a young man just out of college who tries to persuade his father, who owns a record company, to start signing up rock ‘n’ roll acts.
The composer and songwriter Jay Livingston together with the lyricist Raymond B. Evans (known as Ray Evans) have been a very successful composing team. They wrote songs for a hundred films in the 40′s and 50′s and won three Oscars as a team for best songs:
- “Buttons and Bows” from Bob Hope’s “The Paleface” (1948)
- “Mona Lisa” from “Captain Carey U.S.A.” (1951)
- “Que Sera Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)” from Hitchcock’s “The Man Who Knew Too Much” (1957)
They were also nominated for
- “Silver Bells” from Bob Hope comedy “The Lemon Drop Kid” (1951)
- “Tammy” the theme song from the Debbie Reynolds film “Tammy and the Bachelor” (1957)
- “The Cat and the Canary” (1939) for Livingston alone before the cooperation
They have then also been very successful for the TV, writing theme music for programs as varied as “Bonanza”, “Mister Ed” and the “Beetle Bailey” cartoons. Both were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Livingston studied classical piano as a child and at the University of Pennsylvania he studied composition and orchestration. During the study he organized a dance orchestra and played in a touring band, where he met Ray Evans. After graduation in 1937, the pair moved to New York. They had their first hit 1941 with “G’bye Now”. Before becoming a lyricist, Evans worked as a musician on cruise ships.