From Wikipedia: ‘Carl Sigman composed the lyrics in 1951 to a wordless 1911 composition titled Melody in A Major written by Charles G Dawes, who was later Vice President of the United States under Calvin Coolidge. It is the only No 1 single in the US to have been co-written by a US Vice President or a Nobel Peace Prize laureate (Dawes was both).’
It was recorded in 1951 by Tommy Edwards and reached No 18.
He re-recorded it in 1958 in the new stereo format, and this time got to No 1.
Cliff Richard did a lovely version in 1963 which reached No 2 in Britain and No 25 in the States when it was released there in 1964.
The Four Tops made it sound ordinary when they released it in 170, but it made No 5 in Britain and No 24 in the US.
The ghastly Van Morrison made it unrecognisable on his 1979 album Into the Music.