Ella Fitzgerald

I Won't Dance

Song Review by

"I Won't Dance" was a collaboration of several writers. Jerome Kern wrote the music, while the lyrics are jointly attributed to Dorothy Fields, Otto Harbach, Jimmy McHugh, and Oscar Hammerstein II. It was inspired by Fred Astaire, who asked for a rhythmic high-voltage number to which he could sing and tap dance to. It appeared in the 1935 motion picture Roberta, while Van Johnson and Lucille Bremer sang it as a duet in the Jerome Kern film biography Till the Clouds Roll By, which was released a decade later, in 1945. The song has had a long life, with important recordings by Frank Sinatra, Blossom Dearie, Ella Fitzgerald, Barbara Carroll, and Peggy Lee. Several jazz instrumentalists also offered stunning recordings of it, including violinist St├ęphane Grappelli, as well as pianists Marian McPartland, Art Tatum, and Oscar Peterson.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Ella Swings Brightly with Nelson 1962 Verve / Polygram 3:30
First Lady of Song 1993 Verve 4:45