The songwriting team of Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart had written the music for the Ziegfield show Betsy. Actress/vocalist Belle Baker, unhappy with the piece the two had written for her solo (“This Funny World”), contacted old friend Irving Berlin in hopes he might have something that would suit her needs. Berlin had, in fact, just put the finishing touches on a number dedicated as a Christmas gift to his newborn daughter, Mary Ellin. Baker liked the song, and it was inserted into the musical, much to the chagrin of Rodgers and Hart, who were not consulted and wouldn’t have allowed the change. The tune was the hit of the show, and Baker received 24 encores on opening night, December 28, 1926. Despite this, the show itself was a disaster and closed a month later.
“Blue Skies” continued to be a hit in films. After The Jazz Singer it returned in Alexander’s Ragtime Band, a 1938 biopic loosely based on composer Berlin’s life; a 1946 film named after the tune and sung by Bing Crosby; and a 1954 reprise by Crosby (along with Danny Kaye) in the film White Christmas.
I was blue, just as blue as I could be Ev'ry day was a cloudy day for me Then good luck came a-knocking at my door Skies were gray but they're not gray anymore
Blue skies Smiling at me Nothing but blue skies Do I see
Bluebirds Singing a song Nothing but bluebirds All day long
Never saw the sun shining so bright Never saw things going so right Noticing the days hurrying by When you're in love, my how they fly
Blue days All of them gone Nothing but blue skies From now on
I should care if the wind blows east or west I should fret if the worst looks like the best I should mind if they say it can't be true I should smile, that's exactly what I do