I Wanna Be Around

Iwannabearound

PROFILE
Composer Johnny Mercer
Lyricists Sadie Vimmerstedt, Johnny Mercer
Year Written 1959
About I Wanna Be Around
The story of “I Wanna Be Around” is legendary in the music business. Sadie Vimmerstedt, who lived in Youngstown, Ohio, was a big fan of Johnny Mercer’s music. She wrote the opening line ‘I want to be around to pick up the pieces, when somebody breaks yours heart’ and felt it sounded like a Johnny Mercer song. She mailed a letter to ‘Johnny Mercer, Songwriter, New York.’ The post office forwarded the letter to ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers), who got the letter to Mercer. Mercer wrote the melody himself and completed the lyrics for “I Wanna Be Around” in 1959 and asked Tony Bennett to record it, which he did in 1962. Mercer gave 50% of the profits to Ms. Vimmerstedt, which made her a wealthy woman and enabled her to retire and travel the world. It is one of the great songs in the American Songbook.

Lyrics

I wanna be around to pick up the pieces
When somebody breaks your heart
Some somebody twice as smart as I

A somebody who will swear to be true
As you used to do with me
Who’ll leave you to learn
That mis’ry loves company, wait and see

I mean, I wanna be around to see how he does it
When he breaks your heart to bits
Let’s see if the puzzle fits so fine

And that’s when I’ll discover that revenge is sweet
As I sit there applaudin’ from a front-row seat
When somebody breaks your heart
Like you, like you broke mine

Session / Album Information

1962

“I Wanna Be Around” was recorded on October 19, 1962 and released in 1963 on the album I Wanna Be Around. It was arranged by Marty Manning.

This recording released on:

  • 1962: Columbia 45: 13-33062
  • 1962: Columbia 45: 4-42634
  • 1963: Columbia LP 12″: P 13575 — I Wanna Be Around
  • 1963: Columbia LP 12″ (Mono): CL 2000 — I Wanna Be Around
  • 1963: CBS LP 12″: SBPG 62149 — I Wanna Be Around (UK)
  • 1963: Columbia LP 12″: CS 8800 — I Wanna Be Around
  • 1965: CBS 45: 201733
  • 1965: Columbia LP 12″: CL 2373 — Tony’s Greatest Hits, Vol. III
  • 1965: Columbia LP 12″: CS 9173 — Tony’s Greatest Hits, Vol. III
  • 1967: CBS LP 12″: SBPG 62821 — Tony’s Greatest Hits [UK]
  • 1970: Columbia LP 12″: C 30240 — Sings His All-Time Hall Of Fame Hits
  • 1972: CBS LP 12″: CBS 68200 — All-Time Greatest Hits [UK]
  • 1972: Columbia LP 12″: KG 31494 — All-Time Greatest Hits
  • 1973: CBS 45: 8711 — Golden Goodies, vol.11 [Netherlands]
  • 1976: Columbia Special Products LP 12″: P2 13788 — Those Fabulous 50’s
  • 1976: Warwick LP 12″: PR 5021 — The Very Best Of Tony Bennett: 20 Greatest Hits [UK]
  • 1976: Warwick/CBS LP 12″: CBS 5021 — The Very Best Of Tony Bennett: 20 Greatest Hits [UK]
  • 1982: CBS Special Products CD: — My Best To You
  • 1983: CBS Special Products LP 12″: P 16655 — My Best To You
  • 1986: Columbia CD: — 16 Most Requested Songs
  • 1986: CBS/Sony CD: 32DP-558 — 16 Most Requested Songs [Japan]
  • 1990: Columbia/Legacy CD: CK-40215 — 16 Most Requested Songs
  • 1990: Columbia/Legacy CD: 40215 — 16 Most Requested Songs
  • 1990: Columbia CD: 40215 — 16 Most Requested Songs
  • 1991: Columbia CD: CSK 4083 — Forty Years: The Artistry Of Tony Bennett (Promo)
  • 1991: Columbia House Music Collection CD: C22 8017 — The Great American Composers: Johnny Mercer
  • 1991: Columbia CD: C4K 46843 — Forty Years – The Artistry Of Tony Bennett
  • 1992: Sony Mid-Price CD: 4724182 — 16 Most Requested Songs
  • 1993: MCA CD: MSD-35371 — Your Hit Parade – The Early ’60s
  • 1993: CBS/Sony CD: SRCS-6641 — Forty Years: The Artistry Of Tony Bennett
  • 1993: Rhino/Wea CD: R2 71504 — Great American Songwriters, Vol. 2: Johnny Mercer
  • 1994: Smithsonian CD: RD 048-11 — American Songbook Series: Johnny Mercer
  • 1994: Smithsonian Collection CD: A 24117 — American Songbook Series: Johnny Mercer
  • 1995: Sony Special Products CD: 16655 — My Best To You
  • 1995: Sony Special Products CD: 58257 — My Best To Yo
  • 1995: Columbia CD: CK 66504 — I Wanna Be Around
  • 1997: Columbia CD: CK 65405 — Sings His All-Time Hall of Fame Hits
  • 1997: Columbia CD: CK 65316 — All-Time Greatest Hits
  • 1997: Eclipse Music Group CD: 64859 — My Best To You
  • 1999: Sony International CD: 91207 — The Essential Tony Bennett: A Retrospective
  • 2000: Columbia/Legacy CD: CK 63570 — The Ultimate Tony Bennett
  • 2000: Sony Music CD: 63570 — The Ultimate Tony Bennett
  • 2001: Sony Music CD: SRCS-9093 — 16 Most Requested Songs
  • 2002: Collectables CD: 9870 — My Best To You
  • 2002: Columbia/Legacy CD: 86634 — The Essential Tony Bennett
  • 2004: Columbia/Legacy CD: C5K 92784 — Fifty Years: The Artistry of Tony Bennett
  • 2005: Sony Music CD: 4721952 — 16 Most Requested Songs
  • 2006: RPM/Columbia/Legacy CD: 84779 — Tony Bennett’s Greatest Hits Of The ’60s
  • 2006: RPM/Columbia/Legacy CD: 82876 87234 — I Wanna Be Around
  • 2008: Columbia/RPM/Legacy CD: 731397 — The Essential Tony Bennett [Limited Edition 3.0]
  • 2011: Disc #26 in The Tony Bennett Complete Collection (88697874602-JK25) I Wanna Be Around

1964

“I Wanna Be Around” was recorded on April 8, 1964 and released in 2011 on Tony Bennett Live at the Sahara: From This Moment On, as part of the 2011 Complete Collection. It was arranged by Ralph Sharon.

This recording released on:

  • 2011: Disc #74 in The Tony Bennett Complete Collection (88697874602-JK72) Tony Bennett Live at the Sahara: From This Moment On

1971

“I Wanna Be Around” was recorded on January 31, 1971 and released that year on the album Get Happy with The London Philharmonic Orchestra. It was arranged by Marty Manning.

“I Wanna Be Around” was sung as part of a medley with “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.”

This recording released on:

  • 1971: Columbia LP 12″: C 30953 — Get Happy with The London Philharmonic Orchestra
  • 2011: Disc #42 in The Tony Bennett Complete Collection (88697874602-JK41) Get Happy with The London Philharmonic Orchestra

1994

“I Wanna Be Around” was recorded and televised live on April 12, 1994 on MTV. It was recorded as part of a medley with The Good Life. The MTV Unplugged album was released in June of that year. The songs from the televised concert were arranged by Tony Bennett and the Ralph Sharon Trio.

This recording released on:

  • 1993: Columbia CD: CK 66214 — MTV Unplugged
  • 2011: Discs #60/61 in The Tony Bennett Complete Collection (88697874602-JK59) MTV Unplugged

2006

“I Wanna Be Around” was recorded on February 6, 2006 with Bono and was released that same year on Duets: An American Classic. It was arranged by Jorge Calandrelli.

This recording released on:

  • 2006: RPM Records/Columbia CD: 82876809792 — Duets: An American Classic
  • 2006: RPM Records/Columbia CD: 82876887352 — Duets: An American Classic [Target Stores]
  • 2006: Sony BMG CD: 828768858721 — Duets: An American Classic [Australia]
  • 2006: Sony BMG CD: 82876885862 — Duets: An American Classic [UK, Singapore]
  • 2011: Disc #70 in The Tony Bennett Complete Collection (88697874602-JK68) Duets: An American Classic

2012

“I Wanna Be Around” was recorded in 2012 with Richardo Arjona and released on Viva Duets.

This recording released on:

  • 2012: RPM Records/Columbia CD: 88725473102 – Viva Duets
  • 2012: RPM Records/Columbia CD: 88765400972 – Viva Duets (Target Release)
  • 2012: RPM Records/Columbia CD: 88765402412 – Viva Duets (Deluxe edition)

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