Tomato, to-mah-to, potato-po-tah-to…no matter how you say it, you’re on the Sound Beat.

Most married couples admit to occasional, let’s say…differences of opinion. Seldom are those…again, just differences of opinion,  as productive as Ira and Lenore Gershwin’s. Their opposing pronunciations of words like “tomato” and “potato” led to the hit song “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off,”. It’s a conversational tune written by Ira and his brother George.

You’re listening to the silk-smooth vocals of The Ink Spots, who recorded this song for Decca in 1937. Since then, the song has been sung by artists like Billie Holiday and performed as a duet by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers performed it, on rollerskates mind you, in the 1937 movie Shall We Dance.

This episode was co-written by Syracuse University student Jill Comoletti as part of the Sound Beat Class Partnership. Find out more about the Partnership at