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Sammy Kaye, ‘I Left My Heart At The Stage Door Canteen’

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Gift of Carole E. Martinez, 2006.190

On this day 70 years ago, bandleader Sammy Kaye and His Orchestra landed a Top Ten hit with their arrangement of Irving Berlin’s ‘I Left My Heart At The Stage Door Canteen.’  This was Sammy Kaye’s second war-themed hit as, nine months earlier, Kaye had composed the music for the patriotic march ‘Remember Pearl Harbor.’  The tune that placed Kaye into the Top Ten for the second time was from Irving Berlin’s musical ‘This Is The Army,’ then in the middle of its massively successful Broadway run.  Kaye’s rendition would climb all the way to #3 on the Billboard charts with only Charlie Spivak’s ‘My Devotion’ and Glenn Miller’s titanic ‘Kalamazoo’ standing in the way of #1.

“I Left My Heart at the Stage Door Canteen” remained a popular selection throughout the war with later versions by Jo Stafford and the Merry Macs all becoming hits. 

Visit the Stage Door Canteen at The National WWII Museum for live entertainment and also to see artifacts related to the Stage Door Canteens.

Post by Red Ball Express Coordinator Collin Makamson

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