The traditional pop song “At Last” is a pop and jazz standard that became a signature song for Etta James. Her emotional performance and the sweeping orchestral arrangement by Riley Hampton have the song well known and an oldies radio station favorite. It is also a popular choice for wedding sand wedding receptions. Etta James recorded the song in 1960, and in 1961, her version went to #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot R&B Sides chart, #30 on Cash Box, and #47 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song is also on her 1960 album At Last!
The version by Etta James has been used in TV commercials, selling everything from cars to vacuum cleaners to insurance. It has also been featured in the films Rain Man, Pleasantville, and American Pie.
“At Last” has a long, distinguished history. Make Gordon and Harry Warren wrote it in 1941 for the musical film Orchestra Wives. The movie starred George Montgomery and Ann Rutherford. Glenn Miller and his orchestra performed it on the film (and recoded it), with Ray Eberle and Pat Friday on the vocals. Glenn Miller and HIs Orchestra released it in 1942 as a single, and that rose to #9 on the Billboard Pop Charts. The U.S. War Department also released this 1942 Glenn Miller recording as a Victory Disc (V-Disc) during WWII on October, 1943. It was sent to American soldiers and military personnel overseas. Other covers among many have been by Ray Anthony, Gene Watson, Celine Dion, and Beyoncé Knowles.