Saturday, October 22, 2011

Great Love Songs (28)

I notice that my Great Love Songs selections have fallen rather behind my Great Drinking Songs this year. I hope this isn't indicative of the relative importance of these two activities in my life! (Yeah, OK, it probably is.)

Anyway, to start redressing the balance, here's one of my favourite bits of Ella, You'll Never Know, written by Harry Warren and Mack Gordon in the early 1940s (I learn from Wikipedia that Gordon supposedly based the lyrics on a poem written by a young war bride, Dorothy Fern Norris).

That Wikipedia article led me to go checking on Alice Faye, who first performed the song in the 1943 musical, Hello Frisco, Hello, winning the Oscar for Best Song that year (she sang it again in the USO morale-booster Four Jills in a Jeep the following year; a better rendition of the song, but the video is only a montage of stills of the actress). I don't recall seeing it on the American Film Institute's 100 Best Movie Songs list that I discussed over on Froogville earlier this year (no, indeed it was not: a shocking oversight!). Strangely, she never released it as a record, and so the song eventually became more associated with other artists. This is an entertaining clip of the song from Hello Frisco, Hello: a rather muted performance, in rehearsal; but it's cute how all the theatre staff stop what they're doing to listen to her, and almost start tearing up - such is the power of this song.

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