Dinah Shore sings “The Last Time I Saw Paris” (music by Jerome Kern, lyric by Oscar Hammerstein II, 1940) in the star-studded bio-pic of Kern, Till the Clouds Roll By (1946.) The film features lavish renditions of famous songs from his musicals, performed by MGM’s stable of musical stars of the time.
“The Last Time I Saw Paris” was published in 1940 and was sung in the 1941 film Lady Be Good by Ann Sothern. It was one of many popular songs lamenting the fall of European cities to the Nazis during World War II. Hammerstein was quoted as saying the song was “not written to order”, but it became an instant huge hit. Kate Smith purchased exclusive radio rights for the song for six weeks. The song earned Kern a second Academy Award for Best Original Song, and a first Oscar for Oscar Hammerstein.