Love Letters (song)

"Love Letters" is a 1945 popular song with lyrics by Edward Heyman and music by Victor Young. The song appeared, without lyrics, in the movie of the same name performed by Dick Haymes, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1945 but lost out to “It Might as Well Be Spring”.

Ketty Lester versionEdit

"Love Letters"
Single by Ketty Lester
B-side"I'm a Fool to Want You"[1]
Ketty Lester singles chronology
"Queen For A Day"
"Love Letters"
"But Not For Me"

In 1961, Era Records released Ketty Lester's single "I'm a Fool to Want You" b/w "Love Letters". Radio listeners and disc jockeys preferred the B-side, and Lester's recording of "Love Letters", which featured Lincoln Mayorga's sparse piano arrangement and Earl Palmer on drums, rose to no. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 early in 1962.[2]

The record also reached no. 2 on the R&B chart and no. 4 in the UK Singles Chart, selling over 1 million copies, and was awarded a gold disc by the RIAA.[3] In 1991, it was ranked 176th in the RIAA-compiled list of Songs of the Century.


Chart (1962) Peak
Australia Kent Music Report 10 [4]
Ireland IRMA 8 [5]
New Zealand RIANZ 6 [6]
UK Singles Chart 4 [7]
USA Billboard Hot 100 5 [8]
USA Hot R&B 2 [9]

Alison Moyet versionEdit

"Love Letters"
Single by Alison Moyet
B-side"This House"
Songwriter(s)Edward Heyman
Victor Young
Producer(s)Alison Moyet
Steve Brown
Alison Moyet singles chronology
"Sleep Like Breathing"
"Love Letters"
"It Won't Be Long"

In 1987, Alison Moyet released her own version of the song as a non-album single. It reached no. 4 in the UK and remained in the charts for twelve weeks.[10] A music video was filmed to promote the single and featured Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders.[11]

Speaking to The Quietus in 2013, Moyet revealed she recorded "Love Letters" as she knew it would be a hit: "Love Letters" and "Weak in the Presence of Beauty" – neither song I enjoy now – they're both my fault. I found them. That was when I was feeling smart, thinking that I knew what a hit was."[12] She also told the BBC in 2004: "After my versions of "Love Letters" and "That Ole Devil Called Love" did well, there was definite pressure for me to become some sort of jazz diva."[13]

Upon release, Music & Media described Moyet's version as "moody" and "sparsely-backed".[14] Zodiac Mindwarp, as guest reviewer for Smash Hits, felt the song was "very well done" but reminiscent of Simply Red.[15]


Chart (1987) Peak
Belgian Singles Chart (V)[16] 24
Dutch Singles Chart[17] 40
Ireland IRMA[18] 6
New Zealand RIANZ[19] 39
South African Charts[20] 11
UK Singles Chart[10] 4



  1. ^ "Ketty Lester Discography". Soulful Kinda Music. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  2. ^ Profile,; accessed August 15, 2015.
  3. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 148. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
  4. ^ "Billboard Magazine, June 23, 1962". Billboard.
  5. ^ "Billboard Magazine, June 16, 1962". Billboard.
  6. ^ "Billboard Magazine, June, 1962". Billboard.
  7. ^ "UK Official charts company". UK official charts company.
  8. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2000). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits. Billboard. p. 371.
  9. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2006). The Billboard Book of Top 40 R & B and Hip-hop Hits. Billboard. p. 338.
  10. ^ a b "Alison Moyet; full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Retrieved 2019-07-05.
  11. ^ "Rock Movers & Shakers - Dafydd Rees, Luke Crampton - Google Books". 2006-12-29. Retrieved 2019-07-05.
  12. ^ "Features | A Quietus Interview | Changeling: Alison Moyet Interviewed". The Quietus. 2013-05-16. Retrieved 2019-07-05.
  13. ^ Bishop, Tom (2004-09-06). "Entertainment | Alison Moyet frees her voice". BBC News. Retrieved 2019-07-05.
  14. ^ "Previews: Singles". Music & Media. 5 December 1987.
  15. ^ Mindwarp, Zodiac (18 November 1987). "Review: Singles". Smash Hits.
  16. ^ "Alison Moyet - Love Letters". Retrieved 2019-07-05.
  17. ^ Steffen Hung. "Alison Moyet - Love Letters". Retrieved 2019-07-05.
  18. ^ Jaclyn Ward. "The Irish Charts - All there is to know". Retrieved 2019-07-05.
  19. ^ Steffen Hung. " - Alison Moyet - Love Letters". Retrieved 2019-07-05.
  20. ^ Brian Currin. "South African Rock Lists Website - SA Charts 1965 - 1989 Acts (M)". Retrieved 2019-07-05.
  21. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1986). Joel Whitburn's Pop Memories 1890-1954. Wisconsin, USA: Record Research Inc. p. 205. ISBN 0-89820-083-0.
  22. ^ "You better move on" at Discogs
  23. ^ Whitburn, Joel The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, Billboard Books, New York, 1992

External linksEdit