Composer Of "Sentimental Reasons"
And Other Hit Songs
William "Pat" Best wrote both the words and music for "Sentimental Reasons". Although Deek Watson's name is included as writer on record labels and sheet music, he had nothing to do with writing the song... or any other song that Pat wrote, for that matter. Pat wrote the words and melody when he was about 14 years old! When the song was published in 1945, Pat sold the rights to Maxine Andrews' husband, who was owner of the music publishing company, for $2500. The song was registered in Maxine's granddaughter's name. Yes, that was Maxine of The Andrews Sisters. Pat was young and inexperienced... $2500 looked like a fortune to him! Years later, Maxine saw Pat in Las Vegas and thanked him for her trip around the world (from the proceeds)!
It took Pat almost ten years of research to gather evidence and find an attorney that would take the case, but it worked and in 2000 the rights to his song were won back!
A partial list of artists who recorded and released "Sentimental Reasons" (pop chart ranking in parenthesis):
Nat King Cole (#1), Eddie Howard (#2), Dinah Shore (#2), Charlie Spivak (instrumental) (#5), Ella Fitzgerald And Delta Rhythm Boys (#8), Art Kassel And Orchestra (Jimmie Featherstone vocal) (#15), Sam Cooke (#17), Brown Dots (Joe King lead), Brown Dots (Jimmie Nabbie lead), Fran Warren, Frankie Carle, Dave Denny, Chick Stahl Orchestra, Buzz Adlem Orchestra, Barclay Allen, Bob Crosby Orchestra, Vic Damone, Eddie LaMar Orchestra, Don Swan, Three Rays, Cleftones, Righteous Brothers, Rivileers, Jesse Belvin, Dick Hayman, Original Charmers, Linda Ronstadt, Natalie Cole, Peggy Lee, Ames Brothers, Four Lovers, Pookie Hudson And Spaniels, Jose Feliciano, Smiley Lewis, Four Knights, Voices Five (Chanters), World Famous Ink Spots (Ink Spots Quartet), The Tunes (Pat Best lead), plus many contemporary artists.
Tommy Dorsey had earlier released a different "For Sentimental Reasons" song. The Sam Cooke release on Keen 4002 shows "Silver-Heyman-Sherman" as writers, but the sheet music (with Cooke's photo) credits Watson and Best. The Art Kassell is on a Vogue Picture Record.
If anyone has additions or corrections to this list, please e-mail me.
Center panel: "One of the greatest songs I have ever had the pleasure of Recording" Sincerely Eddy Howard
In addition to "Sentimental Reasons", Pat wrote many of the songs recorded for Manor by The Brown Dots and Four Tunes. This includes "Let's Give Love Another Chance", "You're Heaven Sent", "Is It Right", "Where Is My Love", "Is It Too Late", "Wrapped Up In A Dream", "All My Dreams", "Take My Lonely Heart", "Sometime, Someplace, Somewhere", "I Want To Be Loved", and "Don't Cry Darling", the latter two backing Savannah Churchill.
Regardless of what the labels show, none of the above songs were written or co-written by Watson, Churchill, or Irving Berman (owner of Manor Records). The initial Manor releases of "I Want To Be Loved" correctly show "Wm. Best" as composer, but once the song became a hit, Berman changed credit to "Churchill" apparently for promotional reasons. Note that in the label images directly below, The Sentimentalists were named after Pat's song, but became The Four Tunes shortly thereafter.
Above Photo: (Top L-R) Jimmie Nabbie, Jimmy Gordon; (Bottom L-R) Pat Best, Danny Owens
Pat also wrote "I Understand", a big hit by The Four Tunes on Jubilee in 1954. There was a flap because it had the same name as the earlier "I Understand" (on Manor by The Four Tunes with Pat on lead). That first song was originally popularized by Bob Eberly/Jimmy Dorsey. Walter Winchell made a stir about it in his newspaper column. That is why Jubilee changed Pat's song to add "Just How You Feel" to the title!
Above Left: Photo of Pat Best from 1977
REALAUDIO: To hear a medley of "Sentimental Reasons" Songs (Brown Dots-Nabbie, Dinah Shore, Three Rays, Eddie Howard), click ....Streaming or ....Download (1.2MB).
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Last Updated: 6/3/11
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