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"Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone" was written by Sam H. Stept with lyrics by Sidney Clare. The original publication also credited singer Bee Palmer as co-composer. The song was published in 1930. The chorus uses virtually the same chord sequence as the 1925 composition "Has Anybody Seen My Gal?". The lyrics are an admonishment between parting lovers, where the singer asks the other to either speak nicely of her, or not at all.
A diverse group of performers have recorded this jazz standard over the years, including Ethel Waters, The Mills Brothers, Willie Nelson, Frank Sinatra, Rita Reys, Dean Martin, Ray Price, Sammy Davis, Jr, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ann-Margret, Bob Wills, Piano Red, Billie Holiday, and Bill Haley & His Comets, a duet between Harry Connick, Jr. and Carmen McRae, Leon Redbone, and as recently as 2007 by Manteca Beat and by The Original Rabbit Foot Spasm Band in 2009. Television anchor Edwin Newman sang the song during his hosting of Saturday Night Live in 1984.
This song is sung by Norma Shearer's character Mary Haines in the 1939 film The Women as a joke when she leaves her girl friends alone at tea while she takes a call from her philandering husband Stephen Haines.
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