"There's a Small Hotel" is a 1936 song composed by Richard Rodgers, with lyrics by Lorenz Hart. Originally written for but dropped from the musical Billy Rose's Jumbo (1935), it was used in On Your Toes (1936), where it was introduced by Ray Bolger and Doris Carson, and repeated by Jack Whiting and Vera Zorina in the London West End production that opened on 5 February 1937, at the Palace Theatre.
|"There's a Small Hotel"|
According to the biography of Lorenz Hart by Frederick Nolan (Lorenz Hart - A Poet on Broadway, 1994; Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-510289-4), the song was inspired by a visit that Richard Rodgers made to the Stockton Inn, in Stockton, New Jersey. Hart reputedly found the melody insistently cloying and often ad-libbed raunchy parody verses, much to Rodgers' chagrin.
Another claimant to be the inspiration for the song is the Belmond El Encanto in Santa Barbara County, California. Renovations to the hotel in the 1950s replaced the wishing well, mentioned in the song, by a floral fountain.
- Hal Kemp And His Orchestra: "There's A Small Hotel"/"It's Got To Be Love" (Brunswick 7634, 1936) – Shellac 10", 78 RPM
- Jack Whiting: "There's A Small Hotel"/"On Your Toes" (Columbia CA 16274, 1937) – Shellac 10", 78 RPM
- Josephine Baker: "Plus Tard"/"C'est Un Nid Charmant" (Columbia 291179, 1937) – Shellac 10", 78 RPM; a version of the song with French lyrics, as "C'est Un Nid Charmant"
- Stan Getz: Stan Getz Quartets (Prestige PRLP 7002, 1950)
- Hank Mobley: Newark 1953 (Uptown, 1953)
- Ginny Gibson: "The Song That Broke My Heart"/"There's a Small Hotel" (M-G-M 11814, 1954) – 45 rpm
- Bobby Van & Kay Coulter: On Your Toes (1954) – (1954 revival)
- Hank Jones: The Trio (Savoy, 1955)
- Chet Baker: Chet Baker in Europe (Pacific Jazz PJ 1218, 1956)
- Ella Fitzgerald: Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Rodgers & Hart Songbook (Verve, 1956)
- Frank Sinatra: Soundtrack of the film Pal Joey (Capitol, 1957) – the song was re-released on the compilation album Frank Sinatra Sings the Select Rodgers & Hart (Capitol, 1995)
- Johnny Smith: The Johnny Smith Foursome, Volume II (Royal Roost Records, 1957)
- Billy Taylor: The New Billy Taylor Trio (ABC-Paramount S-226, 1958)
- Dorothy Ashby: Hip Harp (Prestige, 1958)
- Petula Clark: Petula Clark in Hollywood (Pye NPL 18039, 1959)
- Della Reese: Della Della Cha-Cha-Cha (RCA, 1960)
- Billy Eckstine: Broadway, Bongos and Mr. B (Mercury SR 60637, 1961) – with the Hal Mooney Orchestra
- The Hi-Lo's: This Time It's Love (Columbia CL 1723/CS 8523, 1962)
- Billy Paul: Going East (Philadelphia International, 1971)
- Robert Clary: Robert Clary Sings Rodgers, Hart & Mercer (Original Cast 9770, 1997)
- June Christy: Friendly Session, Vol. 3 (Jasmine JASCD-369, 2000)
- Jane Monheit: Home (EmArcy, 2010)
- Nolan, Frederick (2 November 1995). Lorenz Hart: A Poet on Broadway - Google Books. ISBN 9780195356113. Retrieved 2010-03-26.
- Hingston, Sandy (July 23, 2015). "5 Great Songs (You Might Not Know Were) Written in Philly". Philadelphia. Retrieved September 5, 2021.
'There’s a Small Hotel' - This musical number with lyrics by Lorenz Hart and tune by Richard Rodgers was inspired by the charming (and still existent) Stockton Inn in Stockton, New Jersey. Though cut from Jumbo, the show for which it was originally intended, the song instead found a home in On Your Toes (and another home, later, in Pal Joey).
- Trzebinski, Errol (17 March 1995). The Lives of Beryl Markham. W. W. Norton & Company. pp. 343–. ISBN 978-0-393-31252-2. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
- California business. California Business News, inc. 1983. p. 81. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
For rejuvenation, pick the Montecito Inn, a 60-room hostelry that inspired Rodgers and Hart to write "There's a Small Hotel". Built by Charlie Chaplin and Fatty Arbuckle...
- Wallace, David; Miller, Ann (23 September 2003). Hollywoodland. Macmillan. pp. 221–. ISBN 978-0-312-31614-3. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
- White, Robert; White, Phyllis (March 2011). Hollywood & the Best of Los Angeles ... - Google Books. ISBN 9781588432865. Retrieved 2010-03-26.
- Le Front populaire – Paris 1934–1939, Fremeaux.com. Retrieved 26 February 2012.