(Where Do I Begin?) Love Story

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"(Where Do I Begin?) Love Story"
Single by Andy Williams
from the album Love Story
B-side "Something"
Released January 15, 1971
Genre Easy listening
Length 3:10
Label Columbia Records 4-45317
Songwriter(s) Francis Lai, Carl Sigman
Producer(s) Dick Glasser
Andy Williams singles chronology
"Home Lovin' Man"
"(Where Do I Begin?) Love Story"
"A Song for You"
"Home Lovin' Man"
"(Where Do I Begin?) Love Story"
"A Song for You"
"Theme from Love Story"
Single by Henry Mancini
from the album Mancini Plays the Theme from Love Story
B-side "Phone Call to the Past"
Released December 1970
Genre Easy listening
Length 2:55
Label RCA Victor 47-9927
Songwriter(s) Francis Lai, Carl Sigman
Producer(s) Joe Reisman
Henry Mancini singles chronology
"Darling Lili"
"Theme from Love Story"
"Theme from Cade's County"
"Darling Lili"
"Theme from Love Story"
"Theme from Cade's County"

"(Where Do I Begin?) Love Story" is a popular song published in 1970, with music by Francis Lai and lyrics by Carl Sigman. The song was first introduced as an instrumental theme in the 1970 film Love Story after the film's distributor, Paramount Pictures, rejected the first set of lyrics that were written.[1] Andy Williams eventually recorded the new lyrics and took the song to number nine on Billboard magazine's Hot 100[2] and number one on their Easy Listening chart.[3]


The score for Love Story was written by Francis Lai, and the company that published the music for Paramount felt that the track heard over the opening and closing credits, which was titled "Theme from Love Story", needed lyrics.[4] Michael Sigman, son of lyricist Carl Sigman, recalled that his father was asked to provide the words and received "a synopsis of the script and the lead sheet of the music, the story was schmaltzy, but the music inspired words that expressed the sadness beneath the schmaltz."[4] The initial set of lyrics his father wrote mirrored the storyline of the film from the prospective of the male protagonist, who describes a woman who enters his life ("So Jenny came") and then "suddenly was gone."[4] Paramount executive Robert Evans "thought the lyric was a 'downer.' Further, he couldn’t abide the phrase 'Jenny came,' believing it too sexually suggestive for a mainstream audience. He demanded a rewrite,"[4] and this upset Carl. "At first, justifiably proud of the fine lyric he crafted, he was angry and felt like refusing to do a rewrite. But the next day he cooled off and, pacing around his living room, said to his wife, 'Where do I begin?' and the new lyric was launched."[5]

Before the film opened in theaters on December 25, 1970,[6] the recording of "Theme from Love Story" by Henry Mancini was released as a single and made its debut on Billboard's Easy Listening chart in the issue of the magazine dated December 19.[7] Two versions of "(Where Do I Begin?) Love Story"—one by Williams and one by Tony Bennett—were released on January 15, 1971,[6] and an article in the magazine's January 23 issue tried to explain the gap between releases of the instrumental and vocal versions as intentional. The logic behind the decision was that "only the instrumental version should hit the market before the picture's release, and that the vocal version should be held up until several weeks after the film's release so that 'the theme and the image of Love Story would be implanted in the audience's mind.'"[6]

Chart success[edit]

The Mancini version spent two of its 16 weeks on the Easy Listening chart at number two[7] and also began a run of 11 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 in the January 16 issue, during which time it got as high as number 13.[8] The track that Francis Lai and his orchestra recorded for the film first charted on the Hot 100 in the January 31 issue and made it to number 31 over the course of nine weeks,[9] it also reached number 21 on the Easy Listening chart during its five weeks there that began in the February 6 issue.[10]

The Williams version of "(Where Do I Begin?) Love Story" also debuted in the February 6 issue on both the Hot 100[2] and Easy Listening[3] charts, while the Bennett version only managed to "bubble under" the Hot 100 for five weeks that began in the February 13 issue and eked out a peak position at number 114.[11] Williams reached number nine on the Hot 100 during a 13-week stay[2] and enjoyed four of his 15 weeks on the Easy Listening chart at number one.[3] Roy Clark entered the Country singles chart with his rendition six weeks later, on March 27, and made it to number 74 during his two weeks there.[12] (The flip side of Clark's single was his guitar rendition of the "Theme from Love Story"[13] that also appeared on his 1973 album Superpicker.)[14]

In the UK Williams began a run of 18 weeks on March 20 of that year that led to a number four showing,[15] his competition on the UK singles chart came from Shirley Bassey, who debuted her rendition of the song on March 27 and made it to number 34 during her nine weeks there.[16]

A pop version of "(Where Do I Begin?) Love Story" by Nino Tempo & April Stevens went by the title "Love Story" and "bubbled under" the Hot 100 to number 113 during its three weeks on the chart in December 1972.[17]

Chart statistics[edit]

Cover versions[edit]

In his AllMusic review of the 1971 Johnny Mathis album Love Story, Joe Viglione wrote, "His rendition of '(Where Do I Begin) Love Story' is riveting, a sweeping and majestic piece to lead off the record, and not the usual Jack Gold musical movement, but more pronounced and determined."[18]

"(Where Do I Begin?) Love Story" has been covered by a variety of other artists:

"Theme from Love Story" has been covered by:

Other uses[edit]

"Theme from Love Story" also served as the theme of the 1973–74 NBC romantic anthology television series Love Story.[103]

In 1979 Williams acted as executive producer of a disco version of his original recording that was arranged, conducted and produced by Bob Esty.[104]

The Mancini version was sampled in a 2001 song called "Dance with the Devil" by the rapper Immortal Technique.[105]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Carl Sigman in the News". Major Songs. Retrieved 2017-04-20. 
  2. ^ a b c d Whitburn 2009, p. 1060.
  3. ^ a b c d Whitburn 2007, p. 295.
  4. ^ a b c d "The End of the '60s? Where Do I Begin…". deeprootsmag.org. Retrieved 23 April 2017. 
  5. ^ "AMERICAN ICONS: Carl Sigman". americansongwriter.com. Retrieved 23 April 2017. 
  6. ^ a b c "Record Industry Loves 'Love Story'". Billboard. 1971-01-23. p. 1. 
  7. ^ a b c Whitburn 2007, p. 171.
  8. ^ a b Whitburn 2009, p. 610.
  9. ^ a b Whitburn 2009, p. 552.
  10. ^ a b Whitburn 2007, p. 154.
  11. ^ a b Whitburn 2009, p. 86.
  12. ^ a b Whitburn 2002, p. 69.
  13. ^ (1971) "(Where Do I Begin?) Love Story"/"Theme from Love Story" by Roy Clark [7" single]. New York: Dot Records DOA 17370.
  14. ^ a b (1973) "Superpicker" by Roy Clark [album jacket]. New York: Dot Records DOS 26008.
  15. ^ a b "Andy Williams". Official Charts. Retrieved 25 April 2017. 
  16. ^ a b "Shirley Bassey". Official Charts. Retrieved 25 April 2017. 
  17. ^ a b Whitburn 2009, p. 966.
  18. ^ "Love Story - Johnny Mathis". allmusic.com. All Media Network, LLC. Retrieved 26 April 2017. 
  19. ^ (1971) Welcome to My World by Eddy Arnold [album jacket]. New York: RCA Records LSP-4570.
  20. ^ (1971) The Last Time I Saw Her by Glen Campbell [album jacket]. Hollywood: Capitol Records SW-733.
  21. ^ (1971) Vikki Carr's Love Story by Vikki Carr [album jacket]. New York: Columbia Records C 30662.
  22. ^ (1971) I Think of You by Perry Como [album jacket]. New York: RCA Victor LSP-4539.
  23. ^ (1971) Love Story by Ray Conniff [album jacket]. New York: Columbia Records C 30498.
  24. ^ (1971) Gilberto with Turrentine by Astrud Gilberto and Stanley Turrentine [album jacket]. New York: CTI Records 6008.
  25. ^ (1971) I Never Did As I Was Told by Robert Goulet [album jacket]. Hollywood: MGM Records MGS-2634.
  26. ^ (1971) Look Around by Vince Hill [album jacket]. New York: Columbia Records SCX 6482.
  27. ^ (1971) Love Book by The Lettermen [album jacket]. Hollywood: Capitol Records ST-836.
  28. ^ (1971) Vol. II by Liz Damon's Orient Express [album jacket]. New York: Anthem Records ANS-5900.
  29. ^ (1971) Acropolis Adieu by Mireille Matthieu [album jacket]. France: Phillips 6332 522.
  30. ^ (1971) A Place in My Heart by Nana Mouskouri [album jacket]. UK: Fontana Records 6312 022.
  31. ^ (1971) Di vero in fondo by Patty Pravo [album jacket]. Italy: Philips 6323 004 L.
  32. ^ (1971) Saying Goodbyes by John Rowles [album jacket]. New York: Kapp Records KS-3651.
  33. ^ (1971) "Jag söker ord"/"En som förstår" by Gunnar Wiklund [7" single]. Sweden: Columbia Records 4E 006-34359 M.
  34. ^ (1972) Songs from 'Lost Horizon' and Themes from Other Movies by Ed Ames [album jacket]. New York: RCA Victor LSP-4808.
  35. ^ (1972) Summer of '42 by Al Martino [album jacket]. Hollywood: Capitol Records ST-793.
  36. ^ (1972) Муслим Магомаев IV by Muslim Magomaev [album jacket]. USSR: Мелодия 33Д-032957-8.
  37. ^ (1972) The Way of Love by [album jacket]. New York: Columbia Records KC 31336.
  38. ^ (1972) The Sound of Secombe by Harry Secombe [album jacket]. UK: Phillips 6308 092.
  39. ^ (1973) TV, Stage & Movie Themes by Alan Caddy Orchestra & Singers [album jacket]. Dagenham, Essex, England: Stereo Plus 3 STR 013 .
  40. ^ (1973) This Is Lena Martell by Lena Martell [album jacket]. London: Pye Records NSPL 18414.
  41. ^ (1973) Live in Japan by Sarah Vaughan [album jacket]. New York: Mainstream Records MRL 2 401.
  42. ^ (1974) Live in London by Petula Clark [album jacket]. London: Polydor Records 2383 303.
  43. ^ (1974) Johnny Farnham Sings Hits from the Movies by Johnny Farnham [album jacket]. Australia: His Master's Voice SOELP 10018.
  44. ^ (1976) Where Do I Begin to Tell a Story by Billy ThunderKloud & the Chieftones [album jacket]. Hendersonville, TN: Superior Records S 2010.
  45. ^ (1977) Black Magic by The Softones [album jacket]. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: H&L Records .
  46. ^ (1989) Ich Denk an Dich by Engelbert Humperdinck [album jacket]. Germany: Ariola 210 344 .
  47. ^ (2002) Piano Bar by Patricia Kaas [CD booklet]. New York: Columbia Records COL 506169 9.
  48. ^ (2005) Portrait by Rick Astley [CD booklet]. New York: RCA 82876734312.
  49. ^ (2010) The Greatest Love Songs of All Time by Barry Manilow [CD booklet]. New York: Arista Records 88697-59777-2.
  50. ^ (2011) With Love by Gary Valenciano. Philippines: Star Records .
  51. ^ (2015) The Power of Passion by Marianna Cataldi [CD booklet]. Austria: Solo Musica 88875071202.
  52. ^ (1970) Theme from Love Story and Other Themes of Romance by Al De Lory [album jacket]. Hollywood: Capitol Records ST-677.
  53. ^ (1970) Afro-Classic by Hubert Laws [album jacket]. New York: CTI Records CTI 6006.
  54. ^ (1971) Theme from Love Story and Other Songs of Love by 101 Strings [album jacket]. Burbank: Alshire Records S-5232.
  55. ^ (1971) Love Story by Ronnie Aldrich and His Two Pianos with the London Symphony Orchestra [album jacket]. UK: Decca PFS 4222.
  56. ^ (1971) For All We Know by Charlie Byrd [album jacket]. New York: Columbia Records G 30622.
  57. ^ (1971) Love Story by Caravelli [album jacket]. France: CBS Records S 7-64360.
  58. ^ (1971) Class of '71 by [album jacket]. New York: RCA Victor LSP-4590.
  59. ^ (1971) Remember Me by Lenny Dee [album jacket]. New York: Decca Records DL 75255.
  60. ^ (1971) I Think I Love You by Percy Faith [album jacket]. New York: Columbia Records C 30502.
  61. ^ (1971) Arthur Fiedler Superstar by Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops Orchestra [album jacket]. New York: Polydor PD-5008.
  62. ^ (1971) Theme from Love Story and Other Great Hits by Sammy Kaye and His Orchestra [album jacket]. New York: Vocalion Records VL 73919.
  63. ^ (1971) Live at Brigham Young University by Stan Kenton and His Orchestra [album jacket]. Los Angeles: Creative World ST-1039.
  64. ^ (1971) Love Story by Andre Kostelanetz and His Orchestra [album jacket]. New York: Columbia Records C 30501.
  65. ^ (1971) Black Velvet by O'Donel Levy [album jacket]. New York: Groove Merchant GM 501.
  66. ^ (1971) "Theme from Love Story"/"Ciao" by Liberace [7" single]. New York: Warner Bros. Records 7465.
  67. ^ (1971) Theme from Love Story by Living Strings [album jacket]. New York: RCA Camden Records CAS-2477.
  68. ^ (1971) Love Story and Other Romantic Themes by The Longines Symphonette [album jacket]. Larchmont, NY: The Longines Symphonette Society SYS 5396.
  69. ^ (1971) The Theme from Love Story by Vincent Lopez Piano Trio [album jacket]. Newark: Ambassador Record Corporation S98100.
  70. ^ (1971) Big Love Movie Themes by Geoff Love and His Orchestra [album jacket]. London: MFP Records 5221.
  71. ^ (1971) From Monty with Love by Mantovani and His Orchestra [album jacket]. London: London Records XPS 585.
  72. ^ (1971) El Condor Pasa by Paul Mauriat and His Orchestra [album jacket]. UK: Phillips PHS 600-352.
  73. ^ (1971) Love Story by Peter Nero [album jacket]. New York: Columbia Records C 30586.
  74. ^ (1971) 12ª raccolta by Fausto Papetti [album jacket]. Italy: Durium ms A 77284.
  75. ^ (1971) Love Story by Philadelphia Story [album jacket]. New York: RCA Red Seal LSC-3210.
  76. ^ (1971) Love Story by Franck Pourcel [album jacket]. France: La Voix De Son Maître 2C 062-11388.
  77. ^ (1971) "Theme from Love Story"/"Sexomania" by Pérez Prado [7" single]. Mexico: Orfeon 45-2775.
  78. ^ (1971) Playing the World's Most Beautiful Love Themes by Bob Ralston [album jacket]. Los Angeles: Ranwood Records 8058-8088.
  79. ^ (1971) Adagio by Santo & Johnny by Santo & Johnny [album jacket]. Italy: Produttori Associati - serie Canadian-American PA/CAN-LP 708.
  80. ^ (1971) Theme from Love Story by Billy Vaughn [album jacket]. Los Angeles: Paramount Records PAS 5032.
  81. ^ (1971) Love Story by Roger Williams [album jacket]. New York: Kapp Records KS-3645.
  82. ^ (1971) Love Story by Hugo Winterhalter [album jacket]. New York: Musicor Records MS 3196.
  83. ^ (1972) Breakthrough! by The Cedar Walton/Hank Mobley Quintet [album jacket]. New York: Cobblestone Records CST 9011.
  84. ^ (1972) After Hours by Manfredo Fest [album jacket]. Hollywood: Daybreak Records DR2012.
  85. ^ (1972) The Love Album by James Last [album jacket]. London: Polydor Records PD 5506.
  86. ^ (1972) The Onedin Line and Other Wonderful Themes by The Norman Newell Orchestra [album jacket]. UK: Philips 6308 094.
  87. ^ (1972) The Guitar Album by various artists [album jacket]. New York: Columbia Records KG 31045.
  88. ^ (1972) Rich in London by Buddy Rich [album jacket]. New York: RCA Victor LSP-4666 .
  89. ^ (1971) The New Golden Trumpet of Eddie Calvert by Eddie Calvert [album jacket]. Italy: Variety - serie Penny REL-ST 19114.
  90. ^ (1973) The Happy Hammond Plays All Time Great Movie Themes by Brian Dee [album jacket]. London: Hallmark Records SHM814.
  91. ^ (1973) Non-Stop Latin Lovelies by Joe Loss and His Orchestra [album jacket]. London: EMI Records TWOX 1006.
  92. ^ (1974) Tijuana and the Golden Trumpet by Herb Alpert [album jacket]. Italy: Variety - serie Penny REL-ST 19237.
  93. ^ (1975) Acker Bilk by Acker Bilk [album jacket]. Belgium: Vogue Records VK 1.
  94. ^ (1975) Fill the World with Love by Ferrante & Teicher [album jacket]. Los Angeles: United Artists Records L 35782.
  95. ^ (1975) We've Only Just Begun by Leslie Butler Plus 3 [album jacket]. Jamaica: Federal Records FRM 134.
  96. ^ (1977) Theme from Love Story by The Melachrino Strings [album label]. Long Island City, NY: Pickwick/33 Records SPC 3263.
  97. ^ (1977) If You Leave Me Now by Johnny Pearson and His Orchestra [album jacket]. UK: Penny Farthing PELS 557.
  98. ^ (1979) Rêveries by Richard Clayderman [album jacket]. UK: Decca SKL 5332.
  99. ^ (1988) Hollywood's Greatest Hits, Volume 1 by Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra [CD booklet]. Beachwood, OH: Telarc CD-80168.
  100. ^ (2002) Left Bank Encores by Gene Ammons and Sonny Stitt [album jacket]. Berkeley, CA: Prestige Records 025218312226.
  101. ^ (2010) Love Stories by Bill Easley [CD booklet]. Dover, NJ: American Showplace Music 764942226422.
  102. ^ (2017) Score by 2Cellos [CD booklet]. New York: Sony Masterworks 88985349122.
  103. ^ "Love Story – 1973 – Theme Song". televisiontunes.com. Retrieved 26 April 2017. 
  104. ^ (1979) "Love Story (Where Do I Begin)" (Long Version)/"Love Story (Where Do I Begin)" (Short Version) by Andy Williams [disc label]. New York: Columbia Records 23-10953.
  105. ^ "Theme From "Love Story" by Henry Mancini". whosampled.com. Retrieved 25 April 2017. 


  • Whitburn, Joel (2002), Joel Whitburn's Top Country Singles, 1944-2001, Record Research Inc., ISBN 0898201519 
  • Whitburn, Joel (2007), Joel Whitburn Presents Billboard Top Adult Songs, 1961-2006, Record Research Inc., ISBN 0898201691 
  • Whitburn, Joel (2009), Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles, 1955-2008, Record Research Inc., ISBN 0898201802 

External links[edit]