It’s about time we had another edition of our oldest Special Feature, Anatomy of a Song, so here we go. Today’s choice was popular with fans in two different eras although it had a contrasting style in each. It began life in the mid-1940s as a movie love song that was perfect for crooners, but then became a big hit record for a 1960s teen idol when he performed it in a decidedly different way.
The song — “The More I See You”– was written by Harry Warren and Mack Gordon, and made its debut in the 1945 musical film, Diamond Horseshoe. Smooth baritone Dick Haymes did the honors, presumably serenading his co-star, Betty Grable. His record of the song came out in the same year, as did one by Betty’s husband, bandleader Harry James (with vocal by Buddy Divito) but the song didn’t seem to create a big stir at the time.
By the 1950s it was a different story. Versions by singing stars like Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole gave it some momentum, and it soon became a mainstream pop standard. Its surge continued into the 1960s with popular records by Bobby Darin, Doris Day, Johnny Mathis and others, but in 1966 it was given a makeover. Chicano rock star Chris Montez recorded what would be the biggest seller of all time on the song, in a very unique style.