Albert Allick 'Al' Bowlly (January 7, 1890/1899(?)–April 17, 1941) was a popular singer in the United Kingdom during the 1930s, making more than 1,000 recordings between 1927 and 1941. Bowlly was born in Mozambique to Greek and Lebanese parents who met en route to Australia and moved to South Africa. He was brought up in Johannesburg, South Africa. He was killed by the explosion of a parachute mine outside his apartment in London during the Blitz.
"The Very Thought of You" is a pop standard published in 1934, with music and lyrics by Ray Noble. In addition to Noble's own hit recording of the song with his orchestra, featuring the vocals of Al Bowlly, there was also a popular version recorded that same year by Bing Crosby. A decade later, the song was on the charts again in a version by Vaughn Monroe. Doris Day sang the song in the 1950 movie Young Man with a Horn, a fictional tale partly based on the life of early jazz trumpeter Bix Beiderbecke.
In 1961, The Very Thought of You was on the charts again in a rhythm & blues version recorded by Little Willie John, and three years later a rock and roll version by Ricky Nelson reached #19 on the Billboard chart. There have also been numerous recordings of the song by jazz artists, including Nat "King" Cole, Carmen McRae, and Billie Holiday. Most recently, Tony Bennett and Sir Paul McCartney recorded a version of the song for the former's Grammy-winning 2006 album Duets: An American Classic. An instrumental version of the song is also among the background music in the film 'Casablanca' in the scene where Sascha kisses Rick Blaine on the cheek.
One of the more recent releases of the song was by Rod Stewart in his successful "Great American Songbook" trilogy of albums.