“It’s Been a Long, Long Time” is a classic song originally recorded by Harry James and his Orchestra in 1945. The song became an instant hit and has since been covered by numerous artists, showcasing its timeless appeal. In this article, we will explore the history of the song and some of the most notable covers.
“Long, Long Time Ago” is a popular song from the end of World War II, composed by Jule Styne. The lyrics convey the emotions of an individual welcoming their spouse home after the war.
It’s Been a Long Long Time lyrics:
Never thought that you would be
Standing here so close to me
There’s so much I feel that I should say
But words can wait until some other day
Kiss me once, then kiss me twice
Then kiss me once again
It’s been a long, long time
Haven’t felt like this, my dear
Since I can’t remember when
It’s been a long, long time
You’ll never know how many dreams
I’ve dreamed about you
Or just how empty they all seemed without you
So kiss me once, then kiss me twice
Then kiss me once again
It’s been a long, long time
It’s Been A Long, Long Time by June & Gordon
It’s Been A Long, Long Time is a heartfelt project crafted purely for enjoyment. This album features seven classic American songs that highlight the long-lasting musical collaboration and camaraderie between vocalist/visual artist June Bisantz and guitarist/vocalist Gordon Morrell. Drawing inspiration from their original 1970s playlist, the duo presents an invigorating reinterpretation of their eclectic Jazz/Americana sound – a distinctive fusion of bistro, New Orleans jazz, folk, and traditional country – with their signature close vocal harmonies.
Fortunately, the fun never ceased from the initial discussions to the final mixing, resulting in a recording to be shared. The team put their trust in David West’s creative leadership and the musical abilities of all the participants, encouraging them to contribute their own unique ideas. The ongoing creative exchange and dialogue among the team members gave everyone a sense of ownership in each song and contributed to the overall success of the project.
In 1971, June and Gordon encountered each other and instantly bonded over their harmonious singing voices. Throughout the years, they performed from Maine to California, in clubs, concerts, and studios with occasional long gaps between reunions. Regardless of the time apart, their voices always blended effortlessly.
For their 50th anniversary of meeting, they sought a fitting way to commemorate this personal and musical landmark while living on different coasts. With his skilled team of world-class musicians and remote recording technology’s magic, “It’s Been A Long, Long Time” became a joyful musical reality that June and Gordon wish to share with all.
Singer and visual artist June Bisantz has co-authored and produced multiple original vocal jazz albums that have gained national recognition. She has toured globally, performing and recording with renowned jazz musicians such as Steve Swallow, Bob Moses, Paul Brown, Lew Soloff, Jerry Neiwood, Mike Stern, Jon Burr, Steve Davis & Will Lee.
Her work has been featured in publications like People Magazine, USA Today, Downbeat, Jazziz Magazine, Jazz Podium Magazine, Jazz USA, New York Newsday, The Boston Globe and the New York Times. Her music is available under Pausa and Nova labels in Los Angeles; Alpha Records in Japan; and Arabesque Records in New York.
Gordon Morrell has been multitasking for decades, dating back to his time as an Education PhD student at the University of California, Santa Barbara in the 1970s. His career has experienced numerous shifts, but music has always remained a consistent theme. He began his musical journey at age five with piano and Hammond organ lessons before progressing to the ukulele and guitar.
In the transformative 70s, he transitioned from electric to acoustic guitar, acquiring a Martin and eventually an Ovation guitar that he continues to play today. Despite various changes in style and instruments, Morrell’s vocal talent and exceptional harmonizing abilities have set him apart as a valuable leader and band member. His laid-back demeanour, authentic style, and natural rapport with audiences make him an enjoyable and captivating entertainer.
It’s Been A Long Long Time Trumpet by Harry James & his Orchestra
Label: Columbia – 36838
Format: Shellac, 10-inch, 78 RPM, Repress Country: US
Release Year: 1946
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Style: Big Band
Harry James, a remarkable instrumentalist from the swing era, was known for his distinctive bravura trumpet style. As one of the leading bandleaders in the first half of the 1940s, he continued to guide his band until shortly before his death, four decades later. Born to circus performers, Harry’s father Everette Robert James was a bandleader and trumpet player for the Mighty Haag Circus while his mother Maybelle Stewart Clark James worked as an aerialist. Raised in this environment, Harry began performing as a contortionist at just four years old.
He soon transitioned to music, playing snare drum from around six years old and learning trumpet from his father. At 12, he assumed leadership of the second band in Christy Brothers Circus where his family worked. Harry attended grade school in Beaumont, Texas during winter breaks and won a state music contest as a trumpeter at age 14.
In 1942, James ranked just behind Glenn Miller as the most successful recording artist. He had seven Top Ten hits that year: “I Don’t Want to Walk Without You” (Top Five) featuring Helen Forrest; “Sleepy Lagoon” (number one instrumental); “One Dozen Roses” (Top Five) with Jimmy Saunders; “Strictly Instrumental” (Top Five instrumental); “He’s My Guy”; “Mister Five by Five” (Top Five); and “Manhattan Serenade.” The final three songs featured vocals by Helen Forrest.
Other notable song covers of Its Been A Long Long Time
Other artists who have covered the song are:
Doris Day (in her 1965 album Sentimental Journey)
Guy Mitchell, Sammy Cahn, and Shelley Fabares (featured in her 1962 album Shelley!).
Chet Atkins with Les Paul (on their 1976 album Chester and Lester)
Brent Spiner (on his 1991 album Ol’ Yellow Eyes Is Back)
Pete Fountain (on his 1966 album A Taste of Honey).
Q&As – It’s Been A Long Long Time
Who wrote the song It’s been a long long time?
Samuel Cohen, professionally recognized as Sammy Cahn, was a renowned American lyricist, songwriter, and musician. He gained fame for his romantic lyrics in film and Broadway songs, along with independent songs introduced by recording studios in the Greater Los Angeles Area.
Who are the members of Harry James’ Orchestra?
Harry James, Helen Forrest, Claude Lakey, Connie Haines, Dalton Rizzotto, Thurman Teague, Frank Sinatra, Johnny MacAfee, Bill Luther, Nick Buono, Ginnie Powell, Jack Palmer, Drew Page, Mickey Scrima, Les DeMerle, Jimmy Campbell, Ray Conniff, Johnny Rebel, Milburn Stone, Eddie Durham, Buddy Hayes, Vern Rowe, Gilda Maiken, Bob Rolfe, Robert Berrenson, Hank Freeman, Dick Shanahan, Chuck Anderson, Harold Moe, Russ Phillips, Al Lerner, Bryan Kent, Pinky Savitt, William Hicks, Eddie Bergman, Lou Fromm, James Troutman, Bill Abel, Billy Root, William Granzos, Tony Reyes, Lynne Richards, Truett Jones, Nick DiMaio, Irwin Berken, Willard T. Culley, Bruce Squires, Mel Kunkle, Hayden Causey, Dave Stone and Gino Bozzacco.
What make of trumpet did Harry James play?
This 1981 B-flat trumpet was crafted by King Musical Instruments, Inc. in Eastlake, Ohio. With serial #863033, it features a brass construction, three piston valves adorned with mother-of-pearl buttons, and an engraving of “Harry James” on the bell – who also played it.
Summary of It’s Been A Long, Long Time
In conclusion, “It’s Been A Long, Long Time” has become a timeless classic that has been covered by numerous artists over the years. From June & Gordon to Pete Fountain, each rendition brings its own unique flavour to the song while still capturing the essence of Harry James & his Orchestra’s original recording. With its nostalgic lyrics and soft melody, it’s no wonder that this song continues to resonate with listeners of all ages.
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