|Composer||Jimmy Van Heusen|
Glenn Miller orchestra
Tommy Dorsey orchestra
many other artists; see #Recorded versions
"Imagination" is a popular song with music written by Jimmy Van Heusen and the lyrics by Johnny Burke. The song was first published in 1940. The two best-selling versions were recorded by the orchestras of Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey in 1940.
Jimmy Van Heusen originally wrote the song when he was a teenager, but with different words. When he later played the tune for Johnny Burke (without the lyrics), Burke wrote the "Imagination" lyrics.
The recording by Glenn Miller was released by Bluebird Records as catalog number 10622. It first reached the Billboard magazine Best Seller chart on July 20, 1940 and lasted 3 weeks on the chart, peaking at #3.
|Single by Miki Howard|
|from the album Come Share My Love|
|B-side||"You Better Be Ready to Love Me"|
Jimmy Van Heusen
|Miki Howard singles chronology|
The song was covered in 1987 by American R&B singer Miki Howard. Released as the second single from Howard's debut album, Come Share My Love. The song was a top 20 R&B hit, peaking at No. 13 on the Hot R&B Singles chart.
|US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs||13|
Other recorded versions
The song has been recorded by, among others:
- Steve Allen (released by Columbia Records as catalog number 39589)
- Chet Baker
- Shirley Bassey
- Dave Brubeck - Plays And Plays And Plays (1962) 
- Chick Bullock and his orchestra (recorded February 21, 1940, released by Vocalion Records as catalog number 5434)
- June Christy - Fair and Warmer! (1957); A Friendly Session, Vol. 1 (2000) with the Johnny Guarnieri Quintet
- Petula Clark (recorded 1963, released by Pye Records as catalog number 7N15517)
- Rosemary Clooney - Love (1963)
- Harry Connick, Jr. on 20
- Bing Crosby and John Scott Trotter's orchestra (recorded December 24, 1947, released by Decca Records as catalog number 24696)
- Doris Day (recorded November, 1947, released by Columbia Records as catalog number 38423, also as catalog number 38698)
- Al Donahue and his orchestra (recorded March 18, 1940, released by Vocalion Records as catalog number 5434, also by Conqueror Records as catalog number 9453)
- Jimmy Dorsey
- Billy Eckstine with Pete Rugolo arr, cond) and his All Stars, including Pete Candoli (tp), Don Fagerquist (tp), Bud Shank (as, fl), Gerald Wiggins (p), Red Callender (b), Larry Bunker (ds). Recorded in Los Angeles, CA on January 2, 1958.
- Percy Faith & His Orchestra with Mitch Miller from the album "It's So Peaceful In The Country"
- Ella Fitzgerald (recorded February 15, 1940, released by Decca Records as catalog number 3078B) and recorded live in 1961 at the Crescendo Club in Los Angeles (released in 2009 in the album Twelve Nights In Hollywood).
- Maynard Ferguson - Boy With Lots of Brass (1957) (vocal by Irene Kral)
- The Fleetwoods
- The Four Freshmen - Golden Anniversary Celebrations (2001)
- Miki Howard - Come Share My Love (1986)
- Lionel Hampton
- Dick Haymes - The Complete Capitol Collection (2006)
- Keith Jarrett - on disc 4 of Keith Jarrett at the Blue Note (1994)
- Cleo Laine (released 1968 on her album That Old Feeling)
- Dean Martin (released October 1960 on his album This Time I'm Swingin'!)
- Art Pepper on his 1957 album Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section
- The Quotations recorded a doo-wop version in 1961 on Verve Records(VK10245)
- Andy Russell (released by Capitol Records as catalog number 20034)
- Jan Savitt and his orchestra (recorded January 24, 1940, released by Decca Records as catalog number 2990B)
- Little Jimmy Scott (released by Savoy Records as catalog number 1174)
- Dinah Shore (recorded February 21, 1940, released by Bluebird Records as catalog number 10668)
- Frank Sinatra and Tommy Dorsey - Legendary Sides (1997)
- Kate Smith (recorded May 1, 1940, released by Columbia Records as catalog number 35486)
- Keely Smith - The Keely Smith Collection (HMV Jazz Series, 1999)
- Jeri Southern - Bygone Days (2009), Romance in the Dark (2009)
- Jess Stacy (released by Capitol Records as catalog number 1136)
- Jo Stafford on her album Jo + Jazz (1960)
- Sonny Stitt
- Ted Straeter and his orchestra (recorded February 21, 1940, released by Columbia Records as catalog number 35402)
- Fred Waring and his orchestra (recorded June 28, 1944, released by Decca Records as catalog number 29219)
- Fran Warren on her album Hey There! Here's Fran Warren released in 1957 By Pickwick
- Joe Williams
- Florence Wright (recorded February 11, 1950, released by National Records as catalog number 9105)
- Victor Young and orchestra (released by Decca Records as catalog number 28570)
- Michigan Jake 2001 barbershop quartet champions. Released on their album "For the Record". Song arranged by Lou Perry. (2000)
- Trio Désolé featuring Lorraine Caron (recorded in 2013 and released on their album "Sweet Surrender") arrangement and Piano by Floyd Pientka, Anders Dahlberg on Bass.
- Top 100 Music Hits, Top 100 Music Charts, Top 100 Songs & The Hot 100 | Billboard.com
- Jimmy Van Heusen Website
- Full lyrics of this song at MetroLyrics
- Musical analysis (use of "motive") of "Imagination"