Song of the Day: Henry Mancini, “Moon River”

67 years ago today, Bunny Connelly and Bill Holton said "I do," and I’m happy they did, or I wouldn’t be here today writing this. In their honor, here is their favorite song, from the 1961 movie Breakfast At Tiffany’s, "Moon River." Written by Henry Mancini with lyrics by Johnny Mercer, it was released in 1960 by Mancini’s orchestra and chorus. Ms. Hepburn sang the song for the movie, accompanying herself on guitar; the record of it was released in October 1961 at the same time as the movie. A Paramount executive, troubled by the tepid reception of the movie in a preview, suggested taking the song out. Ms. Hepburn said "over my dead body!" and a few other choice words, and it stayed. It won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1961 and the Grammys for Record of the Year and Song of the Year in 1962. The Mancini original peaked at either #3 or #1 on the Easy Listening chart.

15 thoughts on “Song of the Day: Henry Mancini, “Moon River”

  1. Hi John – well 67 years later – we’re pleased they tied the knot – and this is a delightful post – while Moon River is forever memorable … thank you. Cheers Hilary


  2. Being your mother’s only brother you would think I would vividly remember this date. I do, but for a reason not relating to the wedding. Three days earlier I was inducted into the Army. I was drafted so I had no say as to my induction date. Sorry I missed your parents wedding, John!


    1. When it’s the Army, you really don’t have much of a choice, do you? I almost got sent out of town the day Joe and Rita Kotowski got married. Mom was furious that I’d even consider not being there…

      Hey, when you have a minute, Mom used to tell the story of your graduation from St. Ignatius. I’d love to hear you tell it…


  3. John,

    What a beautiful tribute to mark your parents’ anniversary! Is Bunny your mother’s legal name or was it a nickname? I thought of the Sargent Carter’s girlfriend when I read your mother’s name. It’s really cute. 🙂 “Moon River” is a lovely song and I’m glad Audrey Hepburn insisted on keeping the lyrical version in the film.


    1. Mom’s real name was Genevieve, but since she was born on Holy Saturday (the day before Easter), they called her Bunny. When she started school, the nuns where she was called her Bunny. She transferred to another school and her teacher insisted she go by Genevieve, and her mother (who was also Genevieve) had to teach her how to spell it…


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