Some of the greatest songs for a ukulele-playing crooner are getting to be close to 100 years old.
Case in point: “After You’ve Gone,” written by Turner Layton and Henry Creamer in 1918. I became interested in the song when someone pointed out to me that Frank Sinatra had recorded it, and I’ve begun working on it to add to my Sinatra tribute set. But Ol’ Blue Eyes was pretty late to the dance. He didn’t get around to recording it until 1984.
In the meantime, rather than figure out who’s recorded the song in the past 96 years, it’d probably be easier to make a list of who hasn’t.
Among the best versions is Ruth Etting’s, recorded in 1927. And who is Ruth Etting, you ask?
In their biography, Ruth Etting (The Scarecrow Press, 2010), Kenneth Irwin and Charles O. Lloyd, describe Etting as “America’s Forgotten Sweetheart.” Etting, who died at the age of 81 in 1978, left behind a wonderful legacy of recordings and films. Check them out. You’ll fall in love.