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Blue Tango

(Leroy Anderson)

This song, using a rhythm reflective of an Argentinian tango was composed for a string orchestra in 1950, and has been performed as an instrumental version and with lyrics by Mitchell Parish.

Leroy Anderson made the debut recording of it in 1951 and it reached No. 1 on the Billboard Chart, selling over a million copies and earning him the first Gold Disc awarded to an instrumental.  In 1952 the orchestra leader, Ray Martin, took it to No. 8 in the UK chart and on it’s re-entry it went back up to No. 10.  That same year it was released in a vocal version by Alma Cogan but did not see the same success.  In the Netherlands it was given new lyrics by Amanda Lear and she recorded it in 1977.   Other orchestra leaders that have recorded it are Mantovani, Richard Hayman and Andre Kostelanetz.

Leroy Anderson & His Orchestra recordings
MCA Classics MCAD2-9815 (CD: The Leroy Anderson Collection)
Conductor – Leroy Anderson

Cologne Radio Orchestra recordings
Laser Light 15 248 (CD: Symphonic Pops/Blue Tango)
Conductor – Pinchas Steinberg

Eastman-Rochester Pops Orchestra recordings
Mercury 432 013-2 (CD: The Music of Leroy Anderson)
Conductor – Frederick Fennell

Richard Hayman and his Symphony Orchestra recordings
Naxos 8.990011 (CD: Waltzing Cat)

St. Louis Symphony Orchestra recordings
RCA 68048 (CD: The Typewriter)
Conductor – Leonard Slatkin


  3. British and American Hit Singles 1946-1997 by Chris Davies.