Published in 1950 for a show called “Out of this World”, “From this Moment On” became the show’s best-known song and a favorite of dance bands of the era. Surprisingly, it was dropped during off-Broadway tryouts only to become famous later through numerous recordings once it was finally introduced in a film version of “Kiss Me Kate” (this Broadway show debuted in 1949) in 1953.
“Out of this World” struggled with various issues including a workable libretto, which went through so many rewrites that Porter’s score was eventually simply superimposed on the book. Quite in contrast to “Kiss Me Kate”, the producers had no problems raising money for “Out of this World” as many who had invested in “Kiss Me Kate” only two years earlier were clamoring to invest in this new production. Critics in Philadelphia and Boston were scandalized partly due to what they perceived to be “exceptionally erotic choreography” and the censor insisted that some songs be purged of words “not even heard in the better class of gin mills”. Ironically, as is often the case with dubious critics, the second-night audience in Philadelphia ignored any negative reviews and cheered, stamped, and whistled for fifteen minutes after the final curtain. By year-end 1950, the sheet music for the show was selling better than any Porter songs since “Anything Goes” (1934).
In the course of curating numerous renditions of “From this Moment On”, I came across an unexpected and charming version by Julia Bonnett (with an introduction by Michael Feinstein). Of all the “greats” who recorded this song, she appears to be the only who actually sings the introductory verse before launching into the refrain.
“Now that we are close, No more nights morose, Now that we are one. The beguine has just begun.”
I thought you’d also enjoy the additional, evergreen performance by the incomparable, Velvet Fog, Mel Torme.