Prisoner of Love – 1931

“Prisoner Of Love” is a 1931 popular song with music by Russ Columbo and Clarence Gaskill and lyrics by Leo Robin. The song was popularized by Columbo and later became a major hit for Billy Eckstine, Perry Como and The Ink Spots.

African-American crooner Billy Eckstine recorded his version with Duke Ellington on piano and Art Blakey on drums September 4, 1945. The record became a million seller and a #10 hit.

Como’s first recording was made on December 18, 1945 and released by RCA Victor Records as catalog number 20-1814-B. It first reached the Billboard magazine charts on March 30, 1946 and lasted 3 weeks on the chart, peaking at #1. The flip side was “All Through the Day”. This recording was re-released in 1949, by RCA Victor, as a 78rpm single (catalog number 20-3298-A) and a 45rpm single (catalog number 47-2886), with the flip side “Temptation.” Billboard ranked it as the No. 1 song of the year for 1946.

Perry Como made two further recordings of the song: one in February, 1946 for a V-Disc, number CS-656-B, and another in July 1970 in a live performance in Las Vegas, issued as a long-playing album (titled In Person At The International Hotel, Las Vegas in its United States and United Kingdom releases, Perry Como In Person in its Japanese release, and Perry Como In Concert in its Dutch release).

James Brown revived “Prisoner of Love” in 1963. It charted #6 R&B and #18 Pop, becoming Brown’s first song to enter the Pop Top Twenty. The studio recording was arranged by Sammy Lowe. Brown performed the song live with his vocal group, The Famous Flames, in the concert film T.A.M.I. Show and on a mid-1960s telecast of The Ed Sullivan Show. It also appears on many of his live albums.