Song No. 90 — Fly Me to the Moon (In Other Words) | Bart Howard (1954)

Carmen Costa - Embaixatriz do Samba (1963) a

Fly Me to the Moon was introduced in 1954 by Felicia Sanders at the nightclub Blue Angel in New York. Shortly after, the song was first recorded by Kaye Ballard, released as B-side to Lazy Afternoon.

Originally titled In Other Words, Howard composed the song as a publisher’s request for a catchy and simple song, however, he refused to change the title to Take Me to the Moon. Howard once claimed that it took him “20 years to find out how to write a song in 20 minutes”.

Despite numerous recordings during the fifties by notable singers such as Johnny Mathis, Chris Connor, Nancy Wilson, Eydie Gormé and Peggy Lee, the popularity of the song increased rather slowly until late 1962 when Joe Harnell’s instrumental bossa nova version started climbing high on the Billboard charts and won a Grammy award the next year. Then, the song became a standard and Howard changed the song’s title officially to Fly Me to the Moon following Peggy Lee’s suggestion to choose this more memorable line from the refrain.

In 1964, Frank Sinatra recorded his famous rendition with Count Basie and his orchestra, arranged by Quincy Jones, which is widely considered as one of the definite versions of Fly Me to the Moon. In 1969, Sinatra’s recording was included in a collection of songs played during Apollo 10’s lunar mission while during Apollo 11’s mission, it became the first music ever to be heard on the moon when Buzz Aldrin played it on a portable cassette player when walking the moon.

In Brazil, the song was apparently first recorded by Carmen Costa in 1963, titled Em Outras Palavras with adapted lyrics by Don Madrid. The English lyrics were first recorded by Conjunto 3-D featuring bass player Carlos Monjardim aka Cacho on vocals and guest Dom Um Romão on drums.

Other notable versions are by Raul de Souza, Luiz Loy, Wilson das Neves, not to forget Sônia Rosa’s fine rendition recorded with Sadao Watanabe’s quartet after her move to Japan.

In 1970, Luiz Carlos Magno recorded Fly Me to the Moon with newly adapted lyrics by Rossini Pinto titled Leva-me Contigo.

Selected recordings of Fly Me to the Moon (In Other Words):

1. Carmen Costa from the album Embaixatriz do Samba (1963, Copacabana CLP 11332)

Carmen Costa - Embaixatriz do Samba (1963) a    Carmen Costa - Embaixatriz do Samba (1963) b

2. Moacyr Silva from the album Sax Sensacional No. 5 (1964, Copacabana CLP 11392)

Moacyr Silva - Sax Sensacional No. 5 (1964) a    Moacyr Silva - Sax Sensacional No. 5 (1964) b

3. Conjunto 3-D from the album Tema 3-D (1964, RCA Victor BBL 1287)

Conjunto 3-D - Tema 3-D (1964) a    Conjunto 3-D - Tema 3-D (1964) b
Art work for Tema 3-D by Foto Estúdio Mafra

4. Gaó from the album Gaó, Seu Piano e Orquestra (1964, Odeon MOFB 3391)

Gaó - Gaó, Seu Piano e Orquestra (1964)

5. Raul de Souza from the album À Vontade Mesmo (1965, RCA Victor BBL 1307)

Raul de Souza, Sambalanço Trio — À Vontade Mesmo (a)    Raul de Souza, Sambalanço Trio — À Vontade Mesmo (b)
Art work for À Vontade Mesmo by Tide Hellmeister

6. Luiz Loy from the album Luiz Loy Quinteto (1966, RGE XRLP 5301)

Luiz Loy - Luiz Loy Quinteto (1966) a    Luiz Loy - Luiz Loy Quinteto (1966) b
Art work for Luiz Loy Quinteto by Dirceu Córte-Real

7. Orquestra Som-Bateau from the album Top Hits No. 2 (1966, Polydor LPNG 44.003)

Orquestra Som-Bateau - Top Hits No. 2 (1966) a    Orquestra Som-Bateau - Top Hits No. 2 (1966) b

8. Virgilio Expósito from the album Expósito 67 (1967, RCA Victor BBL 1400)

Expósito - Expósito 67 (1967) a    Expósito - Expósito 67 (1967) b

9. Wilson das Neves from the album Som Quente é os das Neves (1969, Polydor LPNG 44.036)

Wilson das Neves - Som Quente é os das Neves (1969) a    Wilson das Neves - Som Quente é os das Neves (1969) b
Art work for Som Quente é os das Neves by Lincoln with photograph by Johnny Salles

10. Os Sambacanas from the album Sucessos da Juventude em Tempo de Samba (1969, Som Maior SMLP 1582)

Os Sambacanas - Sucessos da Juventude em Tempo de Samba (1969) a    Os Sambacanas - Sucessos da Juventude em Tempo de Samba (1969) b

11. Luiz Carlos Magno from the album Amor de Estudante (1970, Epic/CBS 44062)

Luiz Carlos Magno - Amor de Estudante (1970)

Selected medleys including Fly Me to the Moon (In Other Words):

1. Orquestra Los Danseros from the album Los Danseros en Bolero (1964, Equipe EQ 801), reissued as Amor, Sonho e Bolero by Orquestra Don Camacho (1968, Spot 33001) and The Sound of the Night by The Midnight Orchestra (1968, Equipe EQC 852)

Orquestra Los Danseros — Los Danseros en Bolero (1964)    The Midnight Orchestra - The Sound of the Night (1969)
Art work for Los Danseros en Bolero by Maurício

2. Zito Righi aka Bob Fleming from the album Bob Fleming Interpreta Boleros Vol. 3 (1965, Masterpiece Master 11039)

Zito Righi aka Bob Fleming - Bob Fleming Interpreta Boleros Vol. 3 (1965) a    Zito Righi aka Bob Fleming - Bob Fleming Interpreta Boleros Vol. 3 (1965) b
Art work for Bob Fleming Interpreta Boleros Vol. 3 by Joselito with photograph by Mafra

3. Primo Quinteto from the album Um Homem e uma Mulher (1970, Equipe EQC-833)

Primo Quinteto - Um Homem e uma Mulher (1970) a    Primo Quinteto - Um Homem e uma Mulher (1970) b
Art work for Um Homem e uma Mulher by Michel Gantus with photograph by Luiz C. Tripoli

Selected recordings of Fly Me to the Moon (In Other Words) originally not issued in Brazil:

1. Laurindo Almeida & The Bossa Nova All Stars from the album Ole! Bossa Nova! (1963, Capitol [USA] ST-1862)

Laurindo Almeida & The Bossa Nova All Stars - Ole! Bossa Nova! (1963) a    Laurindo Almeida & The Bossa Nova All Stars - Ole! Bossa Nova! (1963) b

2. Astrud Gilberto from the album The Shadow of Your Smile (1965, Verve Records [USA] V6-8629)

Astrud Gilberto - The Shadow of Your Smile (1965) a    Astrud Gilberto - The Shadow of Your Smile (1965) b

3. Rosana Tapajós and Breno Sauer Quarteto from the album Rozana (1966, Discos RVV [MEX] RVV 1107)

Rozana & Breno Sauer Quarteto - Rozana (1966) a    Rozana & Breno Sauer Quarteto - Rozana (1966) b

4. Sivuca from the album Bossa Nova (1968, Reprise Records [USA] 12.825)

Sivuca - Bossa Nova (1968)

5. Astrud Gilberto from the album Canta in Italiano (1968, Verve Records [ITA] SVL 52.015)

Astrud Gilberto - Canta in Italiano (1968) a    Astrud Gilberto - Canta in Italiano (1968) b

6. Sônia Rosa with Sadao Watanabe Quartet from the album Sensitive Sound of Sônia Rosa (1970, Express [JAP] VSCD-606)

Sônia Rosa - Sensitive Sound of Sônia Rosa (1970) a

Sônia Rosa - Sensitive Sound of Sônia Rosa (1970) b

Sônia Rosa - Sensitive Sound of Sônia Rosa (1970) c

Comparative recordings of Fly Me to the Moon (In Other Words):

1. Kaye Ballard from the single Lazy Afternoon b/w In Other Words (1954, Decca [USA] 9-29114)

2. Joe Harnell from the single Fly Me to the Moon b/w Harlem Nocturne (1962, Kapp Records [USA] K-497X) and the album Fly Me to the Moon and the Bossa Nova Pops (1963, Kapp Records [USA] KL-1318)

Joe Harnell - Fly Me to the Moon and the Bossa Nova Pops (1963)

3. Frank Sinatra and Count Basie from the album It Might as Well Be Spring (1964, Reprise [USA] FS-1012)

Frank Sinatra and Count Basie - It Might as Well Be Spring (1964)

Preface_Item_AltaFelididade_2nd_short_without-logo

FLY ME TO THE MOON (IN OTHER WORDS)

Fly me to the moon • Let me play among the stars • Let me see what spring is like on Jupiter and Mars • In other words, hold my hand • In other words, baby, kiss me

Fill my heart with song • And let me sing forever more • You are all I long for • All I worship and adore • In other words, please be true • In other words, I love you

Fill my heart with song • Let me sing forever more • You are all I long for • All I worship and adore • In other words, please be true • In other words • In other words, I love you

Preface_Item_AltaFelididade_2nd_short

5 thoughts on “Song No. 90 — Fly Me to the Moon (In Other Words) | Bart Howard (1954)

  1. Great tune Andreas! And quite a coincidence, because I learned how to play this song on the guitar just last week. So the Universe is in-sync :)

  2. Thanks AD, I haven’t gotten around to listening to all the tracks you have shared yet. While there are dozens of versions of this song, my itunes the bossa group Conjunto Carcara released a version titled Flying to the Moon on their album Barra Limpa in 1965.

    1. And what a nice version it is, thank you! I didn’t know Conjunto Carcará which seems a rather obscure group since there is no information available whatsoever but I found the album ob YouTube and I will add this version to this playlist.

  3. Great tune Andreas!
    Do you now, that Orquestra Los Danseros from the album Los Danseros en Bolero (1964, Equipe EQ 801) is Eumir Deodato with Julinho (tp) and Meirelles (fl)? (see Deodato: Lounge ’64 Label: Irma ‎– IRMA 513419-2 ).
    How are you? All the best.
    Bossanov.
    PS Still not asked you about your Burmese trip…

    1. Long time, no hear. Yes, I know about Deodato’s Los Danseros but thank you for remembering Burma. It was a journey of a lifetime! Only today, I learned that three days ago an earthquake, stronger than the recent one in Italy, brought severe damage especially to the ancient city of Bagan which touches me as I had the fortune to experience the magic of this place as well as its amiable people.

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