"Till There Was You" is a song written by Meredith Willson for his musical play The Music Man (1957), and which also appeared in the 1962 movie version. It is sung by librarian Marian Paroo (performed by Barbara Cook on Broadway, and by Shirley Jones in the film) to "Professor" Harold Hill (portrayed in the film by Robert Preston) toward the end of Act Two.
The song became a hit for Anita Bryant in 1959, reaching number 30 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and spending two weeks at number 14 on Cash Box. "Till There Was You" was covered by the Beatles in 1963.
The first recording of the song to be released was produced by Nelson Riddle, featuring his orchestra and 17-year-old vocalist Sue Raney. Promotional copies of the 45 rpm single, Capitol P3847, were released on November 26, 1957, even before the Broadway production had premiered on December 19, 1957, and a month ahead of the original cast album. An earlier version of this song, "Till I Met You", was first recorded by Eileen Wilson in 1950 and later appeared on the January 14, 1951 edition of The Big Show, performed by Fran Warren.
|"Till There Was You"|
|Single by Anita Bryant|
|"Little George (Got the Hiccoughs)"|
|Label||Carlton Records 512|
|Anita Bryant singles chronology|
In 1959, American singer Anita Bryant recorded the song "Till There Was You" and released it as a single. Her version reached number 30 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and number 14 on the Cashbox Top 100.
|"Till There Was You"|
|Song by the Beatles|
|from the album With the Beatles|
|Released||November 22, 1963 (mono)|
November 30, 1963 (stereo)
|Recorded||July 18 and 30, 1963|
|Studio||Abbey Road Studios|
"'Til There Was You"
Paul McCartney was introduced to Peggy Lee's cover of the song through his older cousin, Bett Robbins, who would occasionally baby-sit the two McCartney brothers. McCartney said: "I had no idea until much later that it was from The Music Man." "'Till There Was You" was part of the Beatles' pre-recording repertoire in 1962 and performed at the Star Club in Hamburg. It became illustrative of the Beatles' versatility, proving they could appeal to all sections of an audience, moving easily from softer ballads to harder rock and roll, as in their appearance on November 4, 1963 at the Royal Variety Performance when they followed this song with "Twist and Shout".
The band had included "'Till There Was You" as part of their unsuccessful audition for Decca Records in London on January 1, 1962. It was the second of five songs the group performed during their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show on February 9, 1964.
In 2016, the BBC announced that a "holy grail" Beatles record would be auctioned in March of that year. A private pressing, it features two songs, "Hello Little Girl" and "Till There Was You" and was valued at over £10,000. The disc eventually sold for well over its estimated value - £77,500.