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It's All in the Game (song)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"It's All in the Game"
Written1911 (music); 1951 (lyrics)
Published1912 by Gamble Hinged Music Co. (Melody)
1951 by Remick Music
Composer(s)Charles G. Dawes
Lyricist(s)Carl Sigman

"It's All in the Game" is a pop song whose most successful version was recorded by Tommy Edwards in 1958. Carl Sigman composed the lyrics in 1951 to a wordless 1911 composition titled "Melody in A Major", written by Charles G. Dawes, who was later Vice President of the United States under Calvin Coolidge. It is the only No. 1 single in the U.S. to have been co-written by a U.S. Vice President[1] or a Nobel Peace Prize laureate (Dawes was both).

The song has become a pop standard, with cover versions by dozens of artists, some of which have been minor hit singles.

Edwards' song ranked at No. 47 on the 2018 list of "The Hot 100's All-Time Top 600 Songs".[2]

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"Melody in A Major"

Dawes, a Chicago bank president and amateur pianist and flautist, composed the tune in 1911[3] in a single sitting at his lakeshore home in Evanston. He played it for a friend, the violinist Francis MacMillen, who took Dawes's sheet music to a publisher. Dawes, known for his federal appointments and a United States Senate candidacy, was surprised to find a portrait of himself in a State Street shop window with copies of the tune for sale. Dawes quipped, "I know that I will be the target of my punster friends. They will say that if all the notes in my bank are as bad as my musical ones, they are not worth the paper they were written on."[citation needed]

The tune, often dubbed "Dawes's Melody", followed him into politics, and he grew to detest hearing it wherever he appeared.[4] It was a favorite of violinist Fritz Kreisler, who used it as his closing number, and in the 1940s it was picked up by musicians such as Tommy Dorsey.[5]

"It's All in the Game"

"It's All in the Game"
Single by Tommy Edwards
B-side"All Over Again" (original)
"Please Love Me Forever"
ReleasedAugust 1951 (original)
July 1958 (new version)
Length3:02 (original)
2:25 (new version)
Composer(s)Charles G. Dawes
Lyricist(s)Carl Sigman
Tommy Edwards singles chronology
"It's All in the Game"
"Love Is All We Need"
"It's All in the Game"
Single by Cliff Richard
Released16 August 1963
Recorded28 December 1962
StudioEMI Studios, London
Producer(s)Norrie Paramor
Cliff Richard singles chronology
"Lucky Lips"
"It's All in the Game"
"Don't Talk to Him"
"It's All in the Game"
Single by Four Tops
from the album Still Waters Run Deep
B-side"Love (Is the Answer)"
ReleasedMarch 21, 1970
Composer(s)Charles G. Dawes
Lyricist(s)Carl Sigman
Four Tops singles chronology
"I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)"
"It's All in the Game"
"Still Water (Love)"

In summer 1951, the songwriter Carl Sigman had an idea for a song, and Dawes's "Melody" struck him as suitable for his sentimental lyrics. Dawes had died in April of that year. It was recorded that year by Dinah Shore, Sammy Kaye and Carmen Cavallaro, but the first release was by Tommy Edwards in August.[5] Edwards's version reached No. 18 on the Billboard Records Most Played by Disk Jockeys survey dated September 15, 1951.[6] The range of the melody would have been "difficult to sing", so required rearrangement.[7] A jazz arrangement was recorded by Louis Armstrong (vocals) and arranger Gordon Jenkins, with "some of Armstrong's most honey-tinged singing". In 1956, Jenkins would produce a version with Nat King Cole along the same lines.[8]

In 1958, Edwards had only one session left on his MGM contract. Stereophonic sound recording was becoming viable and it was decided to cut a stereo version of "It's All in the Game" with a rock and roll arrangement. The single was released in July and became a hit, reaching number one for six weeks beginning September 29, 1958, making Edwards the first African-American to chart at number one on the Billboard Hot 100. It would also be the last song to hit number one on the R&B Best Seller list.[9] In November, the song hit No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart.[1] The single helped Edwards revive his career for another two years.[10]

All-time charts

Chart (1958–2018) Position
US Billboard Hot 100[11] 47

Weekly charts (1958)

Charts (1958) Peak position
Italy (FIMI) 19
UK Singles (OCC)[12] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[13] 1

Monthly charts (1958)

Charts (1958) Peak position
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[14] 11
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[15] 29

Cliff Richard version

Cliff Richard had a number two hit in the United Kingdom in 1963 and a number 25 hit on the US Hot 100 in 1964. This was Richard's only top 40 hit in the United States in the 1960s (compared to his UK tally of 43) and his last until "Devil Woman" in 1976. In Canada, it reached number one on the CHUM Chart.[16][17][18] In Israel, it also reached number one on the Kel Israel Broadcasting chart.[19]

Four Tops version

In 1970, the Four Tops had a number five hit in the United Kingdom.[20] Their version peaked at number six on the soul charts and number 24 on the Billboard Hot 100.[21]

Other recordings

See also


  1. ^ a b Rice, Jo (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, Middlesex, UK: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. pp. 39–40. ISBN 0-85112-250-7.
  2. ^ "Hot 100 turns 60". Billboard. Retrieved August 6, 2018.
  3. ^ Publication date is 1912.
  4. ^ Bill Kauffman (June 2004). "The Melodious Veep". The American Enterprise. Archived from the original on 2006-07-21. Retrieved 2006-08-10.
  5. ^ a b "Veep's Waltz". Time. December 17, 1951. Retrieved 2006-08-21.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ Billboard September 15, 1951, page 72
  7. ^ "Carl Sigman's Legacy... (interview with his son)". Pianoforte Magazine. Retrieved 2006-08-21.
  8. ^ Will Friedwald (June 6, 2001). "The Old Songster". The Village Voice. Archived from the original on 2006-11-05. Retrieved 2006-08-21.
  9. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 183.
  10. ^ Fred Bronson (2003). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits (3rd ed.). Billboard Books.
  11. ^ "Billboard Hot 100 60th Anniversary Interactive Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  12. ^ "Tommy Edwards: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company.
  13. ^ "Tommy Edwards Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  14. ^ "Tommy Edwards – It's All In The Game" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  15. ^ "Tommy Edwards – It's All In The Game" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  16. ^ "Cliff Richard's UK positions". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2014-01-03.
  17. ^ "Cliff Richard's US singles-positions". AllMusic. Retrieved 2010-03-24.
  18. ^ To view Cliff Richard's "It's All in the Game" at number 1, click "It's All in the Game" on this webpage:"CHUM Charts 1963". Retrieved 30 March 2018.
  19. ^ "The world's top pops" (PDF). Disc. 31 January 1964. p. 2. Retrieved 18 April 2023.
  20. ^ "". Retrieved April 13, 2022.
  21. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 212.
  22. ^ Marsh, Dave (1989). "The 1001 Greatest Singles". Archived from the original on 4 February 2002. Retrieved 12 August 2008.
  23. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2013). Hot Country Songs 1944–2012. Record Research, Inc. p. 142. ISBN 978-0-89820-203-8.
  24. ^ ECM Records. "ECM Records". ECM Records. Retrieved 2022-05-07.
This page was last edited on 6 April 2024, at 10:07
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