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You Came a Long Way From St. Louis

(John Benson Brooks/ Bob Russell)

This song was written by the composer John Benson Brooks and the lyricist Bob Russell and originally published in 1948 and recorded by Ray McKinley & Some of The Boys who released it on single later that year.

In 1954 it was recorded by Bunny Paul and Peggy King performed it in the film Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy in 1955.  The follow year in 1956 it was recorded by Donna Brooks and 12 months later Pearl Bailey also did a version.  Before the ‘50s had ended Perry Como sang his version in a session on 23rd April 1959 with the accompaniment of Mitchell Ayres’ Orchestra and released it on his album Como Swings later that year.

Along came the 1960s and it became a favourite to perform and record with further versions regularly making appearances.  In 1962 it was recorded by Barney Kessel Plus Big Band, The Francis Bay Orchestra and Etta Jones and the next year it was done by Chris Connor, June Christy, Jimmy Smith and Jan & Dean.  In 1964 Della Reese, Marvin Gaye & Mary Wells, Herbie Mann and Frank Ifield also recorded it and then in 1965 it was the turn of Billy Taylor, the Ralph Sharon Trio, Jackie Trent and Chuck Berry.

Since its first release it has been performed and recorded on countless occasions by many other artists with just some of them including Bing Crosby, Tom Jones, Beegie Adair, George Fame, Peggie Lee, Mabel Mercer and George Shearing.