The Way You Look Tonight

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"The Way You Look Tonight"
The Way You Look Tonight.jpg
Song by Fred Astaire
B-side"Pick Yourself Up"
Published1936 by Chappell & Co.
ReleasedAugust 1936
RecordedJuly 26, 1936
StudioLos Angeles, California
GenreJazz, Pop Vocal
LabelBrunswick 7717
Composer(s)Jerome Kern
Lyricist(s)Dorothy Fields
Fred Astaire singles chronology
"A Fine Romance"
"The Way You Look Tonight"
"Never Gonna Dance"
"The Way You Look Tonight"
The Way You Look Tonight.JPG
Single by The Lettermen
from the album A Song for Young Love
B-side"That's My Desire"
ReleasedJune 13, 1961
StudioCapitol Studios, Hollywood, California
GenrePop, jazz
LabelCapitol 4586
The Lettermen singles chronology
"The Way You Look Tonight"
"When I Fall in Love"

"The Way You Look Tonight" is a song from the film Swing Time that was performed by Fred Astaire and composed by Jerome Kern with lyrics written by Dorothy Fields. It won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1936.[1][2] Fields remarked, "The first time Jerry played that melody for me I went out and started to cry. The release absolutely killed me. I couldn't stop, it was so beautiful."[3]

In the movie, Astaire sang "The Way You Look Tonight" to Ginger Rogers while she was washing her hair in an adjacent room.[1] His recording reached the top of the charts for six weeks in 1936. Other versions that year were by Guy Lombardo and by Teddy Wilson with Billie Holiday.[4]


The song was sung by Fred Astaire in the 1936 film Swing Time in the key of D major,[5] but it is typically performed in E-flat major with a modulation to G-flat major.[6]

Cover versions[edit]

Other versions[edit]

Other versions were also recorded by Clifford Brown, Tina Brooks, Johnny Griffin (with John Coltrane), Charlie Parker, Michael Buble, and Tony Bennett (with Thalía).[2]


The Lettermen[edit]

Chart (1961) Peak
UK Singles (The Official Charts Company) 36
US Billboard Hot 100 13
US Billboard Easy Listening chart[11] 3

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19 ed.). London: Guinness World Records. p. 134. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  2. ^ a b c Gioia, Ted (2012). The Jazz Standards: A Guide to the Repertoire. New York City: Oxford University Press. pp. 449–451. ISBN 978-0-19-993739-4.
  3. ^ Wilk, Max (1997). They're Playing Our Song: Conversations with America's Classic Songwriters (1st Da Capo Press ed.). Da Capo Press. p. 56. ISBN 0-306-80746-7.
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1986). Joel Whitburn's Pop Memories, 1890–1954. Wisconsin: Record Research. p. 604. ISBN 0-89820-083-0.
  5. ^ "The Way You Look Tonight". Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  6. ^ "The Way You Look Tonight". Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  7. ^ "A Bing Crosby Discography". BING magazine. International Club Crosby. Retrieved July 31, 2017.
  8. ^ "The Art of the Trio, Vol. 2: Live at the Village Vanguard - Brad Mehldau | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
  9. ^ "Sixteen Sunsets - Jane Ira Bloom | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 21 July 2020.
  10. ^ "Coming Forth by Day". Allmusic. Retrieved 15 January 2019.
  11. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 144.

External links[edit]