Song: I Won't Dance

Written by Jerome Kern, Otto Harbach, James McHugh, Dorothy Fields, Oscar Hammerstein

"I Won't Dance" is a song composed by Jerome Kern, with lyrics originally written by Oscar Hammerstein II and Otto Harbach for the 1934 musical  Three Sisters. However, Three Sisters flopped and was quickly forgotten, so when the time came to film the Kern-Harbach musical Roberta, the song was interpolated into the film. It became such a hit that it is now included in all stage revivals and recordings of Roberta.  For the RKO film Roberta (1935), Dorothy Fields and Jimmy McHugh changed the lyrics of the song, only keeping the title, which Hammerstein originated. It is the Fields and McHugh lyrics which are best known today.  The song is anachronistically used as a musical number in the made-for-television biography of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Warm Springs, which largely takes place in the year 1924.  Some of the notable recordings of this song included Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong’s version as well as Frank Sinatra’s version.

Recordings of this song:

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recording details  Blossom Dearie save license this
recording details  Eddy Duchin save license this
recording details  Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong save license this
recording details  Nnenna Freelon save license this
recording details   
Stephane Grappelli save license this
recording details  Damita Jo save license this
recording details  Guy Lombardo save license this
recording details  Jane Monheit & Michael Buble save license this
recording details  Anita O' Day save license this
recording details  Frank Sinatra save license this
recording details  Tony Bennett & Bill Charlap save license this
recording details  Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga save license this