"Love Me or Leave Me" is a U.S. popular song from the 1920s.

The music was written by Walter Donaldson and the lyrics by Gus Kahn. The song was introduced in the Broadway playWhoopee!, which opened in December 1928.[1] Ruth Etting's performance of the song was so popular that she was also given the song to sing in the play Simple Simon, which opened in February 1930.[1]


 [hide*1 Recorded versions

Recorded versions[edit]Edit

Major recorded versions[edit]Edit

The original version of the song, the biggest-selling at the time, was recorded by Ruth Etting on December 17, 1928. It was issued by Columbia Records as catalog number 1680-D,[1] with the flip side "I'm Bringing a Red, Red Rose," another Donaldson/Kahn composition.[2] The song reached #2 on the charts in 1929.

Other versions which also enjoyed popularity at this time[1] were by Guy Lombardo's Royal Canadians, with a vocal by Carmen Lombardo (recorded March 20, 1929, released by Columbia Records as catalog number 1782D, with the flip side "I'm Still Caring"[2]) and by Leo Reisman and his orchestra (recorded April 22, 1929, released by Victor Records as catalog number 21966A, with the flip side "Sweet Chewaulka, Land of Sleepy Water"[3]).

A recording made December 12, 1947 by Bing Crosby and John Scott Trotter's orchestra was released in 1951 by Decca Records as catalog number 27667.[4]

As the song was considered to be one of Etting's biggest hits, its title was chosen for the 1955 biographical movie about her life, in which Doris Day played Etting. Day's recording of the song, from the soundtrack, became a major hit for her. The same year, Sammy Davis Jr. and Lena Horne also experienced success with their versions of the song.

Davis's version was released by Decca Records as catalog number 29484, with the flip side "Something's Gotta Give".[5] It first reached the Billboard magazine chartson May 28, 1955 and lasted 12 weeks on the chart. On the Disk Jockey chart, it peaked at #20; on the Best Seller chart, at #12.[6] (However, another source[7] gives the highest position as #9, but lists this as a position for the combined two sides of the record, "Love Me or Leave Me" and "Something's Gotta Give.")

Horne's was released by RCA Victor Records as catalog number 20-6073.[8] It reached the Billboard magazine Disk Jockey chart on July 9, 1955, its only week on the chart, at #19.[6] In the United Kingdom, it was released 1955 by HMV Records as catalog number B-309 (78rpm) and 7M-309 (45rpm),.[9] Both releases were with the flip side "I Love To Love".[8][9]

Singer/pianist/songwriter Nina Simone also recorded the song on her debut album Little Girl Blue (1958) and Let It All Out (1966). Simone's version was included on thesoundtrack of the film Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss and can also be heard playing on the P.A. system during the outro of the NOFX live album "I Heard They Suck Live!!". The version was released as a single in 1959 by Bethlehem Records as catalog number 11021 and by Australian Parlophone Records as catalog number A-8008, with the flip side "I Loves You Porgy".[10] It also shows Simone's seldom-heard side as a Classical pianist when she played a solo in the style of J.S. Bach's Inventions in the middle of the song.

Ella Fitzgerald included her rendition on her 1962 Verve release Ella Swings Brightly with Nelson which won a Grammy Award in 1963.

Other recorded versions[edit]Edit

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