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"Moon River" is a song composed by Henry Mancini with lyrics by Johnny Mercer. It was originally performed by Audrey Hepburn in the 1961 movie Breakfast at Tiffany's, winning an Academy Award for Best Original Song.[1] The song also won the 1962 Grammy Awards for Record of the Year and Song of the Year.[2].

Versions[edit]

The song has been recorded by many other artists.[3] It became the theme song for Andy Williams, who first recorded it in 1962 (and performed it at the Academy Awards ceremony that year).

Moon River

Nelson Riddle

He sang the first eight bars of the song at the beginning of each episode of his eponymous television show and named his production company and venue in Branson, Missouri, after it; his autobiography is called "Moon River" and Me.

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Williams' version was never released as a single, but it charted as an LP track that he recorded for Columbia on a hit album of 1962, Moon River and Other Great Movie Themes.[4].

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  3. See also[edit]

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Chart history[edit]

The song's success was responsible for relaunching Mercer's career as a songwriter, which had stalled in the mid-1950s because rock and roll had replaced jazz standards as the popular music of the time.

The song's popularity is such that it has been used as a test sample in a study on people's memories of popular songs.[5].

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  1. Henry Mancini

  2. Lalo Schifrin

  3. Main Titles

  4. Martin Denny

  5. Charade (Main Title)

  6. Ferrante & Teicher

  7. Stranger On the Shore

  8. John Barry

  9. Early recordings[edit]

  10. Original[edit]

  11. Mission: Impossible

  12. For A Few Dollars More

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Moon River

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Ricordandoti

Comments about the lyrics have noted that they are particularly reminiscent of Mercer's youth in the southern United States and his longing to expand his horizons.[6]Robert Wright wrote in The Atlantic Monthly, "This is a love sung [sic] to wanderlust.

Un Homme Et Une Femme - Instrumental

Or a romantic song in which the romantic partner is the idea of romance."

Moon River (From Breakfast at Tiffany's) [Remastered]

Breakfast at Tiffany's

An inlet near Savannah, Georgia, Johnny Mercer's hometown, was named Moon River in honor of him and this song.[5].

Mercer and Mancini wrote the song for Audrey Hepburn to sing in the film Breakfast at Tiffany's. The lyrics, written by Mercer, are reminiscent of his childhood in Savannah, Georgia, including its waterways. As a child, he had picked huckleberries in summer, and he connected them with a carefree childhood and Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn. Although an instrumental version is played over the film's opening titles, the lyrics are first heard in a scene where Paul "Fred" Varjak (George Peppard) discovers Holly Golightly (Hepburn) singing the song, accompanying herself on the guitar while sitting on the fire escape outside their apartments.[3][6].
There was an eruption of behind-the-scenes consternation when a Paramount Pictures executive, Martin Rackin, suggested removing the song from the film after a tepid Los Angeles preview.
Hepburn's reaction was described by Mancini and others in degrees varying from her saying, "Over my dead body!" to her using more colorful language to make the same point.[8]. An album version was recorded by Mancini and his orchestra and chorus (without Hepburn's vocal) on December 8, 1960.[9] It was released as a single in 1961 and became a number 11 hit in December of that year.[10] Due to unpublished charts in Billboard, Joel Whitburn's Top Adult (Contemporary) Songs variously reported the song as a #3 or #1 easy listening hit.
  1. Helen Shapiro

    Mancini's original version was also featured in the film Born on the Fourth of July (1989).

  2. Matt Monro

    In 1993, following Hepburn's death, her version was released on an album titled Music from the Films of Audrey Hepburn.

  3. Alma Cogan

    In 2004, Hepburn's version finished at #4 on AFI's 100 Years..100 Songs survey of top tunes in American cinema.

  4. Adam Faith

    "Moon River" was a hit single for Jerry Butler in late 1961.

  5. Cliff Richard

    Released simultaneously with Mancini's, it reached number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart[12] and number 3 Easy Listening[13] in December, two weeks before Mancini's recording reached the same chart ranking.

  6. Bobby Vee

    British singer Danny Williams had a hit version of the song that reached number one in the UK in the final week of 1961.[1] Although Andy Williams never released the song as a single, his LP Moon River and Other Great Movie Themes (1962), was certified gold in 1963 for selling one million units.[14] The album reached number 3 on the Billboard Top 200, eventually selling more than two million copies by 1967.[15] In 2002, a 74-year-old Andy Williams sang the song at the conclusion of the live NBC special telecast celebrating the network's 75th anniversary.[16].

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  • In 2022, Andy Williams' recording of the song was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Recording Registry.[17].

  • The Telegraph listed, among prominent covers of the song, those by Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Sarah Vaughan, Louis Armstrong, Sarah Brightman and Chevy Chase.[3] Other stars who have covered the song include Rod Stewart in Fly Me to the Moon..

  • The Great American Songbook Volume V (2010), which charted at No.

  • 4 on the Billboard 200,[34]Barbra Streisand in The Movie Album (2003), a Grammy-nominated[35] gold album,[36] and Frank Ocean, who released a cover on Valentine's Day 2018[37] that debuted in the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot R&B chart.[38]Diffuser.fm named these the "Top 5 Alt-Rock" versions of the song: Morrissey, Glasvegas, R.E.M., The Killers and Josh Ritter.[39]Jacob Collier's a capella cover won the 2020 Grammy Award for Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella.[40].

  • Moon River radio program.

  • ^ abcRoberts, David (2006).

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