The Phono Project

Exploring the history of the groove

Beyond the Sea

Beyond the Sea was written by Jack Lawerence in 1945. He took the music from the French song, “La Mer” by Charles Trenet. “La Mer” means “the sea” in French. To add a romantic feel, Jack decided to add the word “Beyond” to the title. This created the storyline of a man, waiting for his lover to return to him. The recording we are listening to now is by Tex Beneke and his Orchestra, featuring vocals by Garry Stevens. The most popular version is sung by Bobby Darin, recorded in 1959. Darin’s version has more of an upbeat, hopeful feel, where as Stevens sings with more of a somber, longing voice. When Gary passed away at 93, his wife had an interview with The Daily Gazette. “He used to sing ‘Beyond the Sea,’ ” she said, “and he didn’t sing ‘Beyond the Sea’ like Bobby Darin. It was very slow, with a lot of feeling. Women cried, and so did men.”

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