1973 Blue Haze – Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
composer Jerome Kern and lyricist Otto Harbach wrote the song Smoke Gets In Your Eyes for the musical play Roberta in 1933. Several recordings failed to click with listeners.
Paul Whiteman and his orchestra recorded the song with featured singer Bob Lawrence and their single reached the top of the pop charts in 1934.
Many artists recorded the song, but it was the Platters who took the song back onto the singles chart in 1958. Their version also reached number one.
Johnny Arthey played piano during his British military service and later became a successful arranger and conductor during the sixties and seventies. His work included songs by Petula Clark, Mary Hopkin, Engelbert Humperdinck, and many other artists in the UK.
After arranging strings for several reggae recordings, he began leading the Reggae Strings. He then formed a studio group with Phillip Swern and recorded a reggae cover version of Smoke Gets In Your Eyes.
The resulting single used the group name Blue Haze. It stalled at only #32 in the UK but reached #27 on the US Hot 100 and #5 on the Adult Contemporary chart in 1973.
A few more singles followed during the next year, but none of them reached the charts.
The Johnny Arthey Orchestra then released instrumental versions of popular songs, but those also had little impact. Johnny conducted broadcasts for the BBC and also led the orchestras for a few Eurovision contests in the seventies.
Johnny died in 2007.
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