Melbourne band Daddy Cool's biggest hits were with original compositions, notably Eagle Rock, (Australia's #1 single of 1971), but they found fame through their good-humoured reworkings of old songs like this one. The band shared a name with the song Daddy Cool, originally by The Rays (1957).
Although they were known as 1950s revivalists, Daddy Cool's I'll Never Smile Again is a take on The Ink Spots' 1940 version.
Written by Toronto-born pianist Ruth Lowe (1914-1982) after the death of her first husband, Herbert Cohen, a music publicist whom she met while touring with all-girl band Ina Ray Hutton and her Melodears.
The song was first heard on Canadian radio in 1939 on Percy Faith’s radio program Music by Faith. Faith (1908-1976), also from Toronto, was still working as an arranger-conductor with the Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission (now CBC) but would soon move permanently to the USA and wider fame.
References: 1. JR Hafer, Ruth Lowe Smiling Again: pdf file at GlobalCopywritingService.com 2. Ruth Lowe at Big Bands Database. 3. Percy Faith and 4. I’ll Never Smile Again at Encyclopedia of Music in Canada.
Thanks to Joop Jansen through The Originals forum.
This was the hit version of I'll Never Smile Again, on Victor, recorded 23 May 1940. Sinatra had officially been with Tommy Dorsey only since January 1940, and this was Sinatra's first hit record, ever.
There are at least two versions of how Tommy Dorsey came by the song: Ruth [Lowe, composer] passed a copy of the tune to a saxophone player in the Tommy Dorsey band, hoping to have Dorsey hear the tune. (Big Bands Database, also supported by JR Hafer [pdf]); or Tommy Dorsey, who was appearing at the 1939 Canadian National Exhibition (CNE), heard a recording of [Percy] Faith's [radio] performance and arranged for the song's publication by Sun Music. (Encyclopedia of Music in Canada)
Frank Sinatra appeared in the 1941 film Las Vegas Nights singing I'll Never Smile Again with Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra and The Pied Pipers.
Ruth Lowe later co-wrote (with Paul Mann & Stephen Weiss) the song that became Frank Sinatra's radio theme, Put Your Dreams Away (For Another Day) (1945).
The first recorded studio version of I’ll Never Smile Again, on Bluebird, from a 19 February 1940 session. Vocals by Ray Eberle.
The Glenn Miller Orchestra broadcast I’ll Never Smile
on 4 March 1940, probably the song’s introduction to the US audience.
Other versions recorded in 1940 (sessions from May to September): Tony Martin With The Ray Sinatra Orchestra, Lang Thompson & His Orchestra, Gene Krupa & His Orchestra, Russ Morgan & His Orchestra, Ray Noble & His Orchestra, Eddy Howard, Dick Robertson & His Orchestra, Ginny Simms & Her Orchestra, Gene Autry, and Elvira Rios.
I’ll Never Smile Again has been recorded many times over the years, including versions by this more or less random sample: Fats Waller, Django Reinhardt, The Four Aces, Count Basie, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Doris Day, Patti Page, George Shearing, Dave Brubeck, The Four Freshmen, Tab Hunter, Gogi Grant, Al Martino, Jo Stafford, Bobby Vinton…
References: 1. Label discographies and session dates at Online Discographies Project. 2. Glenn Miller broadcast date from J. David Goldin’s chronology at RadioGOLDINdex. See also Encyclopedia of Music in Canada. 3. Versions listed at All Music Guide.
The Platters were a chart-topping vocal group brought together in 1953 by arranger-composer-manager Buck Ram with lead tenor Tony Williams. Their numerous Top 40 hits began with Only You (1955, #5 USA) and included four #1s: The Great Pretender (1955), My Prayer (1956), Twilight Time (1958) and Smoke Gets In Your Eyes (1958).
I’ll Never Smile Again featured a new lead singer, Sonny Turner, after Tony Williams left for a solo career.
Reference: Jay Warner, American Singing Groups (2006)
A September 1940 Decca release, from an August 1940 session.
Daddy Cool's 1972 version of I'll Never Smile Again is based on this arrangement, including the lead guitar line, the vocal backing, and the spoken interlude.
The Ink Spots were a hugely popular and influential black vocal group who began recording in 1935. Their biggest hit was the multi-million-selling If I Didn't Care (1939), featuring their trademark sounds of Bill Kenny's high tenor and the spoken interlude by Orville "Hoppy" Jones.
References: 1. Ink Spots
discography (and other resources) at InkSpots.ca. 2. Session dates
at Online Discographies
Further reading: 1. The Ink Spots Evolution website. 2. History of The Ink Spots at InkSpots.com.
Single on Cub by East Coast doo-wop group formed in 1952 as The Barons, later known as The Larks and The Singing Wanderers. The Wanderers‘ biggest hits were For Your Love (1961, #58 Cash Box) and There Is No Greater Love (1962, #77).
Reference: Wanderers biography by Bryan
Thomas at All Music Guide.
Further reading: Marv Goldberg’s detailed page on The Wanderers (which I found later) is probably the definitive account of the group.