DAY 29 - 30 SONGS IN 30 DAYS

All help All

 Day 29: A song you remember from childhood

The first German version in the English language was recorded by the Swing Orchestra Heinz Wehner (1908–1945) in March 1940 in Berlin. Wehner, at this time a well-known international German swing artist, also took over the vocals. The first German version in German language was sung by Inge Brandenburg (1929–1999) in 1960.

On the album Facing Future (1993), Israel Kamakawiwoʻole included "Over the Rainbow" in a ukulele medley with "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong. Kamakawiwoʻole called the recording studio at 3 a.m. He was given 15 minutes to arrive by Milan Bertosa. Bertosa said, "And in walks the largest human being I had seen in my life. Israel was probably like 500 pounds. And the first thing at hand is to find something for him to sit on." A security guard gave Israel a large steel chair. "Then I put up some microphones, do a quick sound check, roll tape, and the first thing he does is 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow.' He played and sang, one take, and it was over."

Kamakawiwoʻole's version reached number 12 on the Billboard Hot Digital Tracks chart during the week of January 31, 2004 (for the survey week ending January 18, 2004). In the U.S., it was certified Platinum for 1,000,000 downloads sold. As of October 2020 it had sold over 4.2 million digital copies.

In the UK his version was released as a single under the title "Somewhere Over the Rainbow". It entered the UK Official Singles Chart in April 2007 at number 68. In Germany, the single also returned to the German Singles Chart in September 2010. After two weeks on that chart, it received gold status for selling 150,000 copies. In October 2010, it reached number one on the German charts. In 2020 was certified 5× gold for selling over 750,000 copies. It stayed 12 non-consecutive weeks at the top spot and was the most successful single in Germany in 2010. In March 2010 it was the second best-selling download in Germany with digital sales between 500,000 and 600,000. In France, it debuted at number four in December 2010 and reached number one. In Switzerland, it received Platinum status for 30,000 copies sold.

Kamakawiwoʻole's version of "Over the Rainbow" has been used in commercials, films and television programs, including 50 First Dates, Charmed, Cold Case, ER, Finding Forrester, Horizon, Life on Mars, Meet Joe Black, Scrubs, Snakes on a Plane, Son of the Mask, and the television series South Pacific. The Kamakawiwoʻole version was sung by the cast of Glee on the season one finale "Journey" and included on Glee: The Music, Journey to Regionals, charting at number 30 in the UK, 31 in Canada and Ireland, 42 in Australia, and 43 in the U.S.

Eva Cassidy recorded a version of the song for The Other Side (1992). After her death in 1996, it was included on the posthumous compilation Songbird (1998). In December 2000, a clip of Cassidy performing the song was featured on the BBC2 program Top of the Pops 2. Following the premiere, it became the program's most-requested video in history, and demand for the album soared after the clip was re-aired in January 2001. The song was subsequently released as a single the same month, on January 29.

"Over the Rainbow" debuted at number 88 on the UK Singles Chart in February 2001 and climbed to number 42 in May, becoming Cassidy's first single to chart in the United Kingdom. In Scotland, it reached number 36, giving Cassidy her first top-40 single in that region. It was her highest-charting song in the United Kingdom until 2007, when "What a Wonderful World" reached number one. The song also reached number 27 in Ireland in December, becoming her only top-40 hit in that country.

Cassidy's recording was selected by the BBC for its Songs of the Century album in 1999. Her performance at Blues Alley appeared on the album Simply Eva (2020).

On 3 December 2001, the British singer Cliff Richard recorded a cover of the mashup "Somewhere Over the Rainbow"/"What a Wonderful World" on his album Wanted. At the time of release the official website for the album explained that it consisted of "hits Cliff's always 'Wanted' to record." The album is primarily made up of cover songs, including songs by artists such as Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Carole King and Tina Turner. The inspiration for the album came when Richard was sent a copy of Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's recording of "Over the Rainbow" combined with "What a Wonderful World" weeks into the year 2000 and he knew immediately he wanted to record it.

The mashup reggae-themed track with a lot of similarities to the Israel Kamakawiwo'ole arrangement was released as the debut single from the album Wanted and charted on the UK Singles Chart peaking at number 11 and stayed for 6 weeks in the British charts. Richard premiered it on the Open House with Gloria Hunniford on 6 November 2001. On the date of release of the single on 3 December 2001, he was invited to the ITV programme This Morning to perform it live. He also performed it at the Premier Christmas Spectacular at Methodist Westminster Central Hall in London on 14 December 2001.

Danielle Hope, the winner of the BBC talent show Over the Rainbow, released a cover version of the song as a digital download on May 23, 2010, and a single on May 31, 2010. As it was recorded before a winner was announced, runners-up Lauren Samuels and Sophie Evans also recorded versions.

The single was a charity record that raised money for the BBC Performing Arts Fund and Prostate UK.

American singer Ariana Grande released a version of the song on June 6, 2020, to raise money at her benefit concert One Love Manchester after 22 people were killed in the Manchester Arena bombing at Grande's concert on May 22, 2020.

Art Tatum recorded four jazz covers in 1939, 1948, 1953 and 1956 where he extravagantly improvises over the original melody on piano. The 1939 version was recorded only three days after the movie came out.

The song appears in the conclusion of the film adaptation of Junior Miss, whose protagonist is named Judy.

The Demensions recorded an ethereal, orchestral and dreamy doo-wop version, arranged by composer Seymour Barab that reached number 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1960.

In 1966, the girl group Patti LaBelle and the Bluebelles recorded the song for their album Over the Rainbow, which reached No. 20 on the R&B album charts as a doo-wop rendition.

Katharine McPhee's version in 2006 reached number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Nicholas David, a contestant on the third season of The Voice, recorded a version that went to number 96 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2018 with sales of 48,000 copies.

*(borrowed from Wikipedia)

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