I always enjoy putting together Anatomy Of A Song posts because digging into the background of classic old songs often leads to interesting discoveries. For example, today’s spotlighted song is a very familiar one that was a solid hit for many singers, but none of them took it all the way to #1 on the charts. Still, several came very close during the same time period, so if you sort of add them together. . . .
Written by Joan Whitney and Alex Kramer in 1948, “Far Away Places” is a song about a dreamer who wants to see the world. But it sets such a melancholy mood that you could almost visualize the dreamer wasting away in a prison cell.
In any case, it was pretty quickly recorded by a number of singers, with Margaret Whiting reaching #3 on the charts and Bing Crosby making it to the #2 position, but neither could quite attain the top spot. Perry Como followed shortly after and peaked at #6 with his take on the song, so it produced three Top Ten hits in a period of a few weeks. Pretty impressive.
Like most popular songs, “Far Away Places” became a choice for many singers then and now. Dinah Shore soon added her successful version, and as the years passed just about everybody took a turn, including Sinatra, Dino, Vera Lynn, and eventually Willie Nelson. (Even the young ladies in the video below gave it a try.)