I ran across this song a while back, and when I heard it I was once again transported back to my childhood, because I’m sure that we had a record of it around the house. My only dilemma is that both popular versions seem very familiar to me.
When Herbert ‘Happy’ Lawson wrote the song in 1921, it was originally titled “Any Time Blues” and was apparently used in his vaudeville act. But later it became just “Any Time” or “Anytime” in some instances. As for the songwriter, not much information seems to be available on him. One source thought he was originally from Chattanooga and another mentioned something about him being in trouble with the law in Florida, many years after his vaudeville days.
In any case, the song didn’t really gain a lot of traction until country music star Eddy Arnold hit the top of the charts with it in 1948, and a few years later crooner Eddie Fisher had a big hit with the song for pop music fans. Fisher’s success even inspired Coca-Cola to work it in to its sponsorship of his TV show at one point. (Video below.)
Those two versions remain the best known for the song, although countless pop and country singers have recorded it through the years. As for me, I still can’t be sure which of the two I remember the most.
Eddy Arnold – “Anytime”