Today’s song of the day is “Cruising Down The River,” performed by Blue Barron, Russ Morgan, and Jack Smith (Clark Sisters).

Fun Facts

  • The music was composed by two older women, Nell Tollerton and Eily Beadell, with Eily writing the piece in 1920.
  • Though Eily was the one who wrote the music, the melody was composed by Ena Dayne, but since she could not read music, Tollerton transcribed it.
  • Before getting recorded, it was sung at various concert parties in the 1930s, mainly in the UK by Ray Charles.
  • The first recording of this music was in 1946 by Lou Preager, which became a great hit in the UK and immensely popular on radio stations.
  • In 1949, it was recorded in various versions by Russ Morgan, Blue Barron, and Jack Smith, who recorded it with the Clark sisters. Though the version by Blue Barron was the first one to get released in January, the later version by Russ Morgan lingered longer as the number one hit song. It lasted as the number one song for 22 weeks, while Blue Barron lasted for 19 weeks.
  • Jack Smith’s version did not become the number one hit, but it was among the top, peaking at number 14, and lingered for 11 weeks.
  • It has since been covered by various musicians, including Connie Francis in 1959
  • The song also featured in the film Cruisin’ Down the River in 1953, performed by Dick Haymes.



Cruising down the river on a Sunday afternoon

With one you love, the sun above waiting for the moon

The old accordion playing a sentimental tune

Cruising down the river on a Sunday afternoon

The birds above all sing of love, a gentle sweet refrain

The winds around all make a sound like softly falling rain

Just two of us together, we’ll plan a honeymoon

Cruising down the river on a Sunday afternoon