Softly, as I Leave You (song)
|"Softly, as I Leave You"|
|Single by Frank Sinatra|
|from the album Softly, as I Leave You|
|B-side||"Then Suddenly Love"|
|Label||Warner Bros. Records|
|Writer(s)||Hal Shaper, Antonio De Vita|
|Frank Sinatra singles chronology|
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It was originally an Italian success by Mina, at the Sanremo Music Festival, entitled "Piano" ("Softly"). Mina published a recording of the song first as a single in 1960 and later as well on an EP and on three LPs.
The English songwriter Hal Shaper noticed the song and in November 1961 wrote English lyrics to the melody, calling it "Softly, as I Leave You." The best-known versions are those by Matt Monro (#10 on the British charts in 1962) and Frank Sinatra (#27 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #4 on the Easy Listening chart in 1964). The Sinatra family announced Frank's death on May 14, 1998 by placing an announcement on their website that was accompanied by a recording of the singer's version of the song.
When he performed the song live in Las Vegas, Elvis Presley prefaced with a story about the origins of the song. Presley said the song originated when a man was dying and his wife was sitting by his bedside. As she began to doze off, he felt himself beginning to die and he wrote the words to the song on a notepad. However, Elvis insiders claim that his explanation for the song was merely an example of Presley's flair for storytelling, so his explanation is most likely apocryphal. Elvis said he heard the story "from some people in Florida." Elvis doesn't actually sing this song; he speaks the words while his backing tenor Sherrill Nielsen sings it. Elvis's one recorded version of this song was a bootleg made by a fan in Las Vegas in December 1975. RCA was able to release it commercially later and it now appears on the boxed set "Walk A Mile In My Shoes: The Essential 70's Masters."
- Andy Williams
- Bobby Darin
- Cliff Richard with the London Philharmonic Orchestra on Richard's live album Dressed for the Occasion (1983).
- David Whitfield did a cover of the song on New Zealand TV (1973).
- Doris Day (1964)
- Elvis Presley recorded a version in 1975, which was released posthumously as a single in 1978.
- Eydie Gormé
- The Fleetwoods on their 1964 album, Before And After.
- John Gary released a version on his album, John Gary at Carnegie Hall.
- The Lettermen on their 1964 album, She Cried
- Michael Bublé as the B-side to "Feeling Good" in 2004
- Robert Goulet
- Shirley Bassey for her 1968 album, This is My Life
- Shirley Horn on her 1987 album, Softly
- We Five on their 1965 album, You Were On My Mind
- Lena Horne on her 1965 album, Feelin' Good
- Johnny Rivers on his 1966 album, Changes (which also features his version of "Poor Side of Town")
- Howard Keel on his 1995 album The Best of Howard Keel