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"Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive" is a popular song. The music was written by Harold Arlen and the lyrics by Johnny Mercer, and it was published in 1944. It is sung in the style of a sermon, and explains that accentuating the positive is key to happiness. In describing his inspiration for the lyric, Mercer told the Pop Chronicles radio documentary "I went to hear Father Divine and he had a sermon and his subject was 'you got to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative.' And I said 'Wow, that's a colorful phrase!'"

Mercer recorded the song, with The Pied Pipers and Paul Weston's orchestra, on October 4, 1944, and it was released by Capitol Recordsmarker as catalog number 180. The record first reached the Billboard magazine charts on January 4, 1945 and lasted 13 weeks on the chart, peaking at number 2.

Within a matter of weeks, several other recordings of the song were released by other well-known artists:

  • Kay Kyser made a recording on December 21, 1944, with Dolly Mitchell and a vocal trio. This was released by Columbia as catalog number 36771.

  • A recording by Artie Shaw was released by RCA Victor Records as catalog number 20-1612. The record first reached the Billboard magazine charts on January 25, 1945 and lasted five weeks on the chart, peaking at number 5.

A few months later, another version was recorded by Johnny Green in the United Kingdommarker on April 6, 1945, and released by Parlophone Records as catalog number F-2069.

The song has twice been recorded by Perry Como: once on February 19, 1958 and later in July, 1980. Both were primarily made for albums. Neither version was released as a single in the United States, though the 1958 version was released in Germanymarker by RCA as a single (catalog number 47-9243-A).

Aretha Franklin recorded it for The Electrifying Aretha Franklin album for Columbia Records in 1962, and it features in her many re-releases on that label. Soul great Sam Cooke recorded it for his Encore album.

The song has been used for many years as the theme for the television program Faithville, in a version by the Spitfire Band.

Appearance in film and television

An early appearance of the song was in Here Come the Waves (1944), staring Bing Crosby and Betty Hutton and directed by Mark Sandrich.

The song appears in the 1986 BBC serial The Singing Detective.

The song was covered by Dr. John for the 1992 movie The Mighty Ducks.

The song features in the American police drama L.A. Confidential, the 1999 movie and the final episode of time-travel television series Quantum Leap. It is also part of the soundtrack for Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, where it is covered by Clint Eastwood.

The song was also covered by Perry Como and featured in the 1999 film "Blast from the Past".

It was also the theme song for the U.S. TV series Homefront.

It was also used in commercials for Australian health insurance provider MBF in the early 2000s, and UKmarker gas and electricity provider npower in 2008.


  1. Tape 1, side B.

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