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"How Long Has This Been Going On?" (1928) - Composed by George Gershwin, Lyrics by Ira Gershwin, Debuted in the Play "Rosalie" (1928)


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A few years ago, bored on a long plane trip, I chose Funny Face from the list of available movies.  Never much of an Audrey Hepburn fan, I didn't make it too far before fast-forwarding.  And then I caught the tail-end of Audrey singing "How Long Has This Been Going On?", one of my American songbook favorites.  Somehow I'd made it all these years without realizing where the song came from (though I knew it was written by the Gershwins).

This song has been recorded by almost everyone.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Lonette McKee

Ella Fitzgerald recorded it many times; this is one of the simpler versions, no syrupy strings to sully her voice

Carmen McRae

Sarah Vaughn start listening at about 1'30" - really interesting upbeat arrangement with Latin rhythms and a bluesy touch

Julie London  with sultry electric guitar

and of course, Audrey Hepburn's version in the movie (included for reference)

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Thanks. I never saw the movie "Funny Face" and don't believe I ever heard the verse to "How Long..." before. According to Wikipedia, Audrey Hepburn actually did her own singing in this picture, and you can certainly understand why they didn't let her sing in "My Fair Lady".

The Sarah Vaughan recording appeared on the album of the same name in 1978. That was during my heaviest intoxication with her singing; I bought the LP as soon as it came out. Gone now, of course. The band she sings with here is Oscar Peterson, Joe Pass, Ray Brown, and Louie Bellson, which is exalted company. Even though there were four of them, they were known as the Oscar Peterson Trio.

Rosemary Clooney recorded a very tasteful version of this song on the "Sings Ira Gershwin" album that I linked to for another song somewhere.

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Just to clear up any ambiguities, the Gershwins wrote "How Long Has This Been Going On" in 1927 for the Broadway musical "Funny Face," but the song was replaced in that play by "He Loves and She Loves," also by the Gershwins.

However, it debuted the following year in the 1928 musical, "Rosalie."

As you can see, there have been a lot of covers of "How Long Has This Been Going On," though I'm not sure why the Wikipedia editors chose to begin with a 30-year gap, listing the first of these covers as Audrey Hepburn's 1957 version:

post-2-0-44336000-1427212770_thumb.png

Bonus for George Gershwin fans:

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