The "Andantino in D-flat" op.83 no.2 (1888) (also known as "Moonlight and Roses"), is one of English organist and composer Edwin Lemare's few well-known original compositions. It became so popular that he was asked to play it in nearly all his concerts. It sold tens of thousands of copies, though he did not initially make any money out of it; when it was copyrighted in 1892 by Robert Cocks in London and published by Novello & Co., Ltd., he received a flat fee of three guineas.
Lemare did not call it "Moonlight and Roses" nor did he attach any words to the tune; it was American songwriters Ben Black and Charles N. Daniels (under the pseudonym Neil Moret) who added these words to the melody, without permission, in 1921:
Bring wonderful mem'ries of you.
My heart reposes
In beautiful thoughts so true.
June light discloses
Love's olden dreams sparkling anew,
Moonlight and roses
Bring mem'ries of you.
The piece became extremely popular and sold over one million copies. Lemare threatened legal action in 1925, resulting in his obtaining a share of the royalties; he finally profited from his popular tune. The piece uses the technique known as thumbing down; the left hand plays an accompaniment on the choir manual, while the fingers of the right hand play the tune on the solo manual, and the thumb of the right hand simultaneously plays the tune on the great manual, in parallel sixths. The player is thus playing on three manuals at once.
Its opening phrase had an even earlier birth, however, bearing as it does an uncanny resemblance to that of the Adagio of Mozart's 'Hunt' quartet (1784)
The first version of the instrumental "Andantino" (before the Black/Moret lyrics) seems to be recorded in 1924 by Mark Andrews on the pipe-organ.
(o) Mark Andrews (1924) ("Andantino")
Recorded September 30, 1924 in a church building in Camden, New Jersey.
Released on Victor 19472
In 1927 the composer himself, Edwin H. Lemare, also recorded a version of "Andantino".
Recorded July 30, 1927 in a church building in Camden, New Jersey.
Released on Victor 35843.
The first vocal version (with the Black/Moret lyrics) was recorded by Henry Halstead, one year after the first instrumental version.
(o) Henry Halstead and his Orchestra (1925)
Recorded February 6, 1925 in Oakland, California
Released on Victor 19579
(c) Austin Wylie's Golden Pheasant Orch. (1925)
Vocals by Irving Kaufman.
Recorded February 25, 1925 in New York.
Seems to be the first artist to rightfully credit Edwin Lemare
(c) Ray Miller and his Orchestra (1925) ("Moonlight and Roses")
Vocals by Frank Bessinger and Frank Wright.
This version hit the #5 spot on the US charts.
Recorded in New York on March 13, 1925.
Released on Brunswick 2866
(c) Californiacs (1925)
Recorded March 1925 in Hollywood
Released on Sunset 1075
(c) Waikiki Hawaiian Trio (1925)
With Sol Hoopii on steel-guitar
Released on Sunset 1095
Listen to a sample here:
(c) John McCormack (1925)
Recored April 23, 1925 in Camden, New Jersey, during McCormack's first electric recording session. All of his previous recordings were acoustically recorded.
This version hit the #3 spot on the US charts.
Released on Victrola 1092.
Charted at #3 in August 1925.
(c) Polla's Clover Gardens Orchestra 1925
vocals Helen Clark and Joseph Phillips (=Charles Hart)
Recorded April 9, 1925 in New York
Released on Edison 51540
(c) Max Terr 1925
Recorded May 28, 1925 in New York
Released on Perfect 14438
(c) Savoy Orpheans (1925)
Recorded at Hayes, Middlesex, October 23, 1925
Released on HMV B-2171
(c) Norton Payne (1926)
Recorded March 28, 1926, Montreal, Quebec, Compo Company Limited.
Released In June 1926 on Apex 743-B
Also released in the USA on Perfect 11614
(c) Waring's Pennsylvanians (1926)
Recorded June 3, 1926 in New York
(c) Frank Luther Trio (1934)
Frank Luther, Zora Layman, Leonard Stokes (vocal trio),
Recorded September 21, 1934
Released on Decca 5038
(c) Hugh And Shug's Radio Pals (1937)
Hugh Cross (vo), Shug Fisher (b), Ted Grant (f), Lenny Aylshire (acc)
Recorded July 16, 1937 in New York City.
Released on Decca 5406
Listen to sample here:
(c) Victor Young and his Orchestra (with Connie Boswell (1938)
Recorded April 16, 1938 in Los angeles
Released on Decca 1885
Listen to a sample here:
(c) Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys (1938)
Eldon Shamblin [gt], Leon McAuliffe [steel], Sleepy Johnson [banjo], Joe Ferguson [bass], Jesse Ashlock [fiddle], Smokey Dacus [drums], Al Stricklin [piano], Everett Stover [trumpet], Charles Laughton [trumpet/clarinet/sax], Zeb McNally [sax])
Recorded May 17, 1938 in Dallas, TX
Released on Vocalion 04439, Conqueror 9155 and Columbia 37727 and 20304.
Listen to a sample here:
(c) Wayne King and his Orchestra (1939)
Recorded on July 21, 1939 in New York
Released on Victor 26394
(c) Lanny Ross (1940)
Roy Bargy (p)
Recorded October 10, 1940 in New York
Released on Victor 26784
(c) Betty Grable (1940)
Betty Grable sang it in the motion-picture musical "Tin Pan Alley" (1940)
Listen here (at 2 min and 15 sec) in the next soundfile:
Betty Grable – Tin Pan Alley: Medley: Honeysuckle Rose / Moonlight & Roses
(c) Guy Lombardo's Royal Canadians (1941)
Recorded March 5, 1941 in New York
Released on Decca 3722
(c) Roy Rogers (1943)
The song was also interpolated in the motion picture "Song of Texas" (1943) starring Roy Rogers.
(c) Eddy Arnold (1953)
Recorded December 2, 1952 at RCA Victor Studio 1, 155 East 24th St., Manhattan, New York City
Eddy Arnold [vcl], Hank Garland [el gt], George Barnes [el gt], Al Chernet [gt], Roy Wiggins [steel], Charlie Grean [bass], Marty Gold [piano], Eddie Litvin [org]
Released on Victor 5192
(c) Frank Petty Trio (1953)
Released February 1953 on MGM 11431
(c) Johnny Maddox (1953)
Released March 1953 on Dot 15072
(c) The Three Suns (1954)
(c) Victor Young and his Singing Strings (1954)
Recorded June 6, 1954 in Los Angeles.
Released on Decca 29203
In 1964 it was the title-song of Jim Reeves last LP to be released while he was alive.
Recorded December 21, 1963 at RCA Victor Studio, 1610 Hawkins St. Nashville, TN
Producer Chet Atkins
JIM REEVES: vocal/leader; HAROLD RAY BRADLEY: guitar; VELMA E.WILLIAMS SMITH: guitar; BOB L. MOORE: bass; KENNETH BUTTREY: drums; HARGUS M. "Pig" ROBBINS: piano; HOMER L. "Boots" RANDOLPH: vibes; KARL GARVIN: trumpet; WILLIAM R. McELHINEY: trumpet; BRENTON BOLDEN BANKS: violin; CECIL L. BROWER: violin;
SOLIE ISAAC FOTT: violin; LILLIAN VANN HUNT: violin; DOROTHYANN DILLARD, ANITA KERR,vocal chorus.
(c) Bachelors (1964)
On the album "16 Great Songs" (Decca LK 4614)
It was successfully revived in 1965 by Vic Damone in a Dolton recording.