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Best Cover Songs 3 - Fly Me to the Moon (In Other Words)

Mohan is a family physician, film and TV aficionado, a keen bibliophile and an eclectic scribbler.

Fly me to the Moon

Fly me to the moon,
and let me play among the stars...

Doesn't matter how often we hear the tune, it always reaches deep. It conveys such an wonderful emotion of happy abandon, a celebration of love for life and for each other.

No wonder many artists have fallen over themselves to cover this wonderful track, often to great success and mellifluous results. Just like our previous contenders ' You're always on my mind' and ' Will you still love me tomorrow', this song is up there with the greats in its longevity, its everlasting spirit and sheer joie de vivre.

The simple but effective lyrics capture so much with so little. It is no wonder that it has captivated many hearts and still does.

Bart Howard (1915- 2004)

Bart Howard (1915- 2004)

Kaye Ballard's first recording

Kaye Ballard

Kaye Ballard

In Other Words, in other worlds!

It is worth remembering however, at its first release in 1954 it wasn't called ' Fly me to the moon'. The track was called 'In other words'.

It was only two years later that publishers changed its title officially to 'Fly me to the Moon' after a Johnny Matthis cover took it to new heights. Due to the title change it has also been closely linked to our space race, as it is rumoured that Buzz Aldrin played it during the Apollo mission and moon landing.

It is rather ironic that more than 40 years later, Buzz Aldrin danced to the very same tune in the programme ' Dancing with the Stars'.

Written by composer and lyricist Bart Howard in 1954, it was first played in the cabaret circuits by Felicia Sanders and enjoyed such popular success it soon received the attention of recording artists.

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The honour of first recording goes to singer Kaye Ballard for Decca records in 1954. Unverified accounts suggest over 300 artists have since covered this wonderful tune. Here compiled for the first time in one place for your delectation are some of the best versions of this song.

Felicia Sanders first introduced the song to the cabaret circuit in 1954 and subsequently did a recording herself in 1959

Felicia Sanders first introduced the song to the cabaret circuit in 1954 and subsequently did a recording herself in 1959


Johnny Mathis version

Year after year

The popularity of the song meant that recording artists such as Chris Connor (1955),Portia Nelson (1956) followed year on year with their cover versions.

Listeners started referring to the song as 'Fly me to the Moon' and the record labels made the official title change when Johnny Mathis did his version in 1956. Johnny's unique vocal style lends itself beautifully to this tune, taking the listener on a journey into their own hearts. It is magical, mystical and majestic.

Songstresses such as Eydie Gormé , April Stevens and Nancy Wilson followed suit. It was then Peggy Lee ( of 'Fever' fame) did a rendition in an Ed Sullivan show special that spun the tune further out of orbit into stratosphere.

This particular TV show was a pilot to showcase different cities of America and featured San Francisco and its songs. The show was called See America for Ed Sullivan for CBS. Interestingly, the guest list on that show broadcast on 16/10/60 also featured Johnny Mathis.

Peggy Lee recorded the song for her album 'Pretty eyes' in 1960

Peggy Lee recorded the song for her album 'Pretty eyes' in 1960

Nat King Cole Sings, George Shearing Plays

Nat King Cole Sings, George Sheari