When I Fall in Love – 1952

“When I Fall in Love” is a popular song, written by Victor Young (music) and Edward Heyman (lyrics). It was introduced in the film One Minute to Zero. Jeri Southern sang on the first recording released in April 1952 with the song’s composer, Victor Young, handling the arranging and conducting duties. The song has become a standard, with many artists recording it, though the first hit version was sung by Doris Day released in July 1952.

Day’s recording was made on June 5, 1952. It was released by Columbia Records as catalog number 39786 and issued with the flip side “Take Me in Your Arms”. The song reached number 20 on the Billboard chart.

A 1996 cover by Natalie Cole, a “duet” with her father Nat King Cole by way of vocals from his 1956 cover, won 1996 Grammys for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals and Best Instrumental Arrangement with Accompanying Vocal(s).


The version by Rick Astley was released in December 1987, coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the release of Nat King Cole’s version of the song. This single is mainly remembered for a closely fought contest for UK Christmas number one.


A version was recorded by Nat King Cole on December 28, 1956. It was issued by Capitol Records on an LP album entitled Love Is the Thing, catalog number SW824. The song was also used in the movie called Istanbul (1957). Cole played in the movie and sang the song. The single was released in the UK in 1957, and reached number 2 on the UK singles chart. This recording was re-released in 1987 and reached number 4.
Natalie Cole recorded two different versions of the song: The first, a contemporary R&B/smooth jazz version for her 1987 album, Everlasting, then a more traditional version for her 1996 Stardust album, as a virtual duet with her father, Nat King Cole, which included recordings of his vocals from his 1956 version. This version won two awards at the 39th Grammy Awards: Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals and Best Instrumental Arrangement with Accompanying Vocal(s) for arrangers Alan Broadbent and David Foster.
Johnny Mathis recorded it on his 1959 album Open Fire, Two Guitars, which charted in the UK and many other countries.
Sandra Dee covered the song in 1960.
Blues-lounge singer Etta Jones released a version on the song in 1960, which spent 8 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, reaching No. 65.
A version by The Lettermen was issued as a single in 1961 and became quite popular, spending 14 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, reaching No. 7, while reaching No. 1 on the Billboard’s Easy Listening chart. Veteran drummer Earl Palmer played on this version.
Big-band leader Guy Lombardo recorded the song. His version was released in 1962, and appears on his Decca LP By Special Request.
Teen idol/TV star Johnny Crawford recorded the song. His version was released in 1963.
Donny Osmond covered the song in 1973 for his album, A Time for Us. It spent 13 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, reaching No. 14, while reaching No. 4 on the UK Singles Chart.
The Carpenters recorded this song for their last television special, Music, Music, Music!. Richard Carpenter officially released it on their album Lovelines in 1989, six years after his sister’s death. The song appeared on their second compilation, Interpretations, in 1994. Carpenter also released a VHS tape called Interpretations, which held the “When I Fall in Love” music video.
In 1984, Linda Ronstadt released the song as the lead track on her album Lush Life and as a single. Ronstadt’s version reached No. 24 on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart.
Little Willie Littlefield recorded a version for his 1990 album Singalong with Little Willie Littlefield.
Tom Jones recorded a version that was released on his 1966 Decca album From the Heart.
Country singer Kenny Rogers included his version on his collection of love songs Always and Forever.
Barry Manilow included a version of this song on his 2006 album of classic songs from the 1960s.
Opera singer Lesley Garrett recorded the song on her 2007 album and entitled the album after it.
More under the “Recorded versions” section here.