July, 1998 Edition Parlor Songs Goes To The Movies!
It's the dead of summer and summer movie season is upon us so I thought we could make it movie music month at Parlorsongs.com.
Music has always been an important part of the movies (for sure since Jolson sang "Mammy") and has played a big part in the awards process.
This month we feature some songs from the collection that represent some of the best, and maybe some of the worst, that movie music has to offer.
Stay, home, stay cool and enjoy the music.
How Am I To Know
Music by: Jack King
Lyrics by: Dorothy Parker
This song is from the movie Dynamite starring Charles Bickford, Julia Faye, Conrad Nagel & Kay Johnson. This is one of Cecil
B. DeMille's earliest films and certainly a far cry from his later epics. The song is a weepy sort of ballad that has become a staple of sorts (at least
to those of us over 50). Dynamite was an Oscar nominee in 1930 for Best Art Direction. Now, here is the mystery for you movie fans. Dynamite was a SILENT movie.
So how could there be a song associated with it? Well, before the end of the silent era, studios had recognized the importance of music in setting the mood
for their pictures. Rather than leave it to an unknown keyboardist in each city, the studios began preparing their own scores to accompany the movie. Voila! music.
Intermezzo, Souvenir De Vienne
Music by: Heinz Provost Cover Artist: unknown
This tune is from the movie Intermezzo a sugar coated romance from 1939. This was Leslie Howard's first film after his superb performance in Gone With The Wind
The movie was, in a way, Howard's payoff for accepting his role in GWTW. Howard had long aspired to producing or directing. He convinced David O. Selznick to set him up as co-producer of this film
in return for his work in GWTW. The song is another of those romantic staples but the movie has stayed in relative obscurity. The film was nominated for Oscars for best cinematography and best musc in 1940.
Music by: Harry Warren Lyrics by: Johnny Mercer Cover artist: unknown
Here is another movie song from the GWTW era. In fact, this movie, Jezebel, was released the year before GWTW and David O. Selznick was upset because it was a GWTW look alike.
He felt that Warner Brothers had intentionally made this movie to scoop GWTW. Though Jezebel was a hit that won Bette Davis an Oscar for best actress and her co-star Fay Bainter best supporting actress, obviously, Selznick
did not need to worry. Jezebel also won Oscars for Best Music, Best Scoring and Best Picture and also was recognized by the Venice Film festival in 1938 for its overall artistic contribution.
Sweet Varsity Sue
Music by: Charles Tobias Al Lewis & Murray Mencher Cover artist: unknown
Ah, for those old college days. This song is a great little college song that seems to bring to mind those heady days of the late 30's. The movie this song is from
is Life Begins in College. Produced in 1937, the movie starred the Ritz Brothers, sort of a zany musical set of Marx Brothers. The movie must not have made a
big impression because it received no awards and I have never seen it on AMC or TCM. Well, so what, the music is still with us, her today, enjoy it please.
Begin The Beguine
Music & Lyrics by: Cole Porter Cover artist: unknown
I gotta tell you, I LOVE this song! Cole Porter was a musical master and his songs are among the cream of the musical crop. This song has all of the elements that
make a song great. The movie it is from is one of those ubiquitous Fred Astaire movies from the 30's. Co-starring Eleanor Powell, Fred and Eleanor danced it seems
for hours to this one tune. The movie was Broadway Melody of 1940 directed by Norman Taurog. Though it won no awards, it is a staple of the classic movie
channels and is a joy to watch.
Blue Venetian Waters
Music by: Bronislaw Caper & Walter Jurmann Lyrics by: Gus Kahn Cover artist: unknown
And Speaking of the Marx Brothers, you can't get any better than A Day At The Races the 1937 classic starring the Marx's and Maureen O'Sullivan. Though the movie
has become one of the classic comedy movies of all time. This song has been all but forgotten but it is a pretty bouncy, happy melody, nice to listen to.
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