Put Your Dreams Away (For Another Day)

Year Inducted: 2015
Era Inducted To: Radio Era
Written In:1942
Lyricist(s):Ruth Lowe
Composer(s):Paul Mann, Stephan Weiss

The beautiful ballad Put Your Dreams Away (For Another Day) achieved fame as Frank Sinatra’s closing theme song. When he left the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, he needed a song that he could perform as a regular finale on his radio programs. He was already familiar with the song-writing skills of Toronto’s Ruth Lowe, who had written his first great hit I’ll Never Smile Again (inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2003), so he asked Lowe to write a closing song for him. Teaming up with composers Paul Mann and Stephan Weiss, Lowe obliged.

Put Your Dreams Away (For Another Day) is a slow-tempo romantic ballad, with the first three sung notes rising chromatically. Lowe’s evocative lyrics are suitably vague and dream-like, reminding the listener to find love wherever it is offered.

Sinatra – and Ruth Lowe’s song – rose to stardom during the 1942 to 1944 American Federation of Musicians’ strike against the record companies. Instrumental musicians and big bands were forbidden to record, so radio networks turned to singers (who were not part of the strike) to provide new music. Sinatra first featured the song on his CBS radio shows through the end of 1943 and the sheet music was published in 1942, featuring his photo and the headline “Theme Song of Frank Sinatra.” He recorded the song as a Columbia V-disc (recordings for the US Armed Forces) in Hollywood in May 1944 with conductor Axel Stordahl and orchestra, and again one year later (this time for public sale) for the A side of a 78-rpm recording. Sinatra continued singing it as his closing song on radio from 1945 to 1947 and later on his television shows and often in concert, and it frequently appeared as the final song on his albums.

On his Grammy-winning 1965 album “Sinatra: A Man and His Music,” the singer affectionately addressed the song directly, calling it “Dear old theme song,” and telling it “I love you, old buddy.” The song’s title was also borrowed for a 1958 Sinatra album and a discography. In May 1998, at the request of Sinatra’s family, the song was sung at his funeral.

Barry Manilow included Put Your Dreams Away (For Another Day) on his Grammy-nominated album “Manilow Sings Sinatra” (1998). Other cover versions were recorded by Perry Como, Gisele MacKenzie (1950, for radio broadcast), vocal group The Hi-Lo’s (1955), cornetist Bobby Hackett, The Nelson Riddle Orchestra (1958), Roy Hamilton (1960), the Ray Charles Singers (1966), The Singers Unlimited (1976), the Don Lanphere Quintet (1985), Eileen Farrell in an arrangement by Canada’s Robert Farnon (1991), Ranee Lee (2003), John McDermott (2006), Hit Co. Big Band (2013), and others. The song was used in the 1962 Stanley Kubrick film titled, “Lolita,” and in the film “Inside Moves” (1980).

Almost three-quarters of a century after its first appearance, Put Your Dreams Away (For Another Day) still has lasting appeal.

Toronto-born Ruth Lowe (12 August 1914 – 4 January 1981) was a songwriter and pianist. As a teenager, Lowe spent her days playing the piano in Toronto music stores to promote the sale of sheet music. In the evenings she accompanied singers in Toronto nightclubs, performed in a two-piano act with Sair Lee, and sang as part of a girl trio called the Shadows on CKNC. In 1936, 21-year old Lowe was working in the Song Shop in Toronto when Ina Rae Hutton’s all-girl band, the Melodears, came to town and suddenly found themselves in need of a last-minute substitute for an ailing pianist. Lowe got the gig and began touring the US with the band. After her second Sinatra hit, Lowe devoted herself to raising her family in Toronto, and played the piano often although not in public. She was featured in an episode of the NBC television show “This Is Your Life” on November 10, 1954, and her story was chronicled in the video documentary “I’ll Never Smile Again: The Ruth Lowe Story” (Great North Productions Inc., 2001) and broadcast as part of the television series “The Canadians”.

Paul Mann (3 September 1910 – 27 May 1983) was born in Vienna, Austria. He was a film composer in Berlin and moved to the USA around 1938. Stephan Weiss (17 August 1899, Vienna –13 August 1984, Zurich) arrived in the US around the same time. Both contributed songs to the hit Broadway revue “Hellzapoppin,” which ran from 1938 to 1941.

Put Your Dreams Away (For Another Day)

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PLAY Put Your Dreams Away (For Another Day) - Alejandra Ribera
PLAY Put Your Dreams Away (For Another Day) - Frank Sinatra