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"The Nearness of You" is a popular song, written in 1938 by Hoagy Carmichael with lyrics by Ned Washington.
The song was featured in the Paramount film Romance in the Dark, which was released in 1938 starring John Barrymore and John Boles. In the film, it was performed by the lead actress Gladys Swarthout of Metropolitan Opera fame. However, some debate this origination.
The first big-selling version was recorded on April 28, 1940 by the Glenn Miller Orchestra, with a vocal by Ray Eberle (Bluebird catalog number B-10745-A). This recording first reached the Billboard magazine Best Seller chart on July 20, 1940 (though this is misleading, as this was Billboard's first chart) and lasted 8 weeks on the chart, peaking at #5.
Other popular contemporary versions were recorded by Kay Kyser's orchestra (vocal: Harry Babbitt, Columbia catalog number 35488), by Dinah Shore with Paul Weston's orchestra (Bluebird catalog number 10793), and by Eddy Howard with Lou Adrian's orchestra (Columbia catalog number 35511).
The song was performed by Norah Jones on her album Come Away With Me, and (partially) in the film Two Weeks Notice, released in December 2002. It was also performed by Diana Krall on a Geoff Keezer album, Turn Up the Quiet.
Sheena Easton released her version from her standards album in 1993 No Strings and for the soundtrack of Indecent Proposal in which she appears in a cameo singing the song with Herbie Hancock playing the piano in the movie.
Steve Buscemi sang/cried a version of the song as the not so happy character, Happy Franks, in the 1998 film The Impostors, after the band leader protests that it is a little slow.
German jazz and pop artist Marc Secara recorded the song with the Berlin Jazz Orchestra on the CD You're Everything and released March of 2008; this was arranged for big band by Steve Gray.
A well-known bootleg recording exists featuring the Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards performing a solo version, accompanying himself on piano. Richards performed the song live during the Stones' 2002-2003 Licks Tour. A performance was captured and released on the 2004 live album Live Licks.
A live performance was given by Norah Jones at the Steve Jobs Memorial/Celebration of Life at the Apple, Inc. corporate headquarters on October 19, 2011.
Boston Pops Orchestra
Michael Brecker and James Taylor
Ray Brown Trio
Chick Bullock and his orchestra
Larry Clinton and his orchestra
Nat King Cole
Sammy Davis, Jr.
Bill Doggett Quartet
The Dorsey Brothers
Percy Faith and his orchestra
Robert Farnon and his orchestra
Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong
The Four Freshmen
Red Garland - The Nearness of You (1961)
Ray Herbeck and his orchestra
Woody Herman and his orchestra
Milt Jackson and the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra
Harry James and his orchestra (vocal: Dick Haymes
Dr. John (Mac Rebennack)
Kay Kyser's orchestra vocal: Harry Babbitt
Annie Lennox from the 2014 album Nostalgia
Abbey Lincoln and Hank Jones
Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians
Mat Mathews Quintet
Glenn Miller and his orchestra Ray Eberle
Glenn Miller Revivals
Little Joey Morant Quintet
Willie Nelson - American Classic (2009)
A. Pouw and T. Kok
Dianne Reeves - Link to sample recording
Rolling Stones (Vocal: Keith Richards)
George Shearing / Nancy Wilson
The Stepping Stones
Ted Straeter and his orchestra
Reinhold Svensson's Orchestra (vocal: Rolf Erickson)
Johnny "Guitar" Watson
Tsuyoshi Yamamoto Trio
Lisa Kelly & JB Scott
Channel BenG PianoVocals