Saturday, May 11, 2013

Wild About Harry! (Warren, that is!)



Hey, unless you have been living under a rock (or climbing all over one like me!) you will know that Prince Harry is visiting the USA this week.    Prince Harry, I hope you have a wonderful time while you are here... but wait, this post isn't about Prince Harry, it is about another man, a prince of a fellow by the name of Harry Warren.

Never heard of him, you say?  No, I hadn't either until just recently.  For someone who loves music and the people who write great melodies, how I could not have known of him is beyond me.  Remember my post about Cloudland Canyon? It is very close to Chattanooga, Tennessee and of course, you know I had to sing "Chattanooga Choo Choo" when I saw the highway sign for Chattanooga.  When I got home, I researched the song on the computer and found that it not only went to number one on the charts in 1941 but it was the FIRST gold record! (Gold record means that it had one million in sales).  The music for "Chattanooga Choo Choo" was written by Harry Warren.
(It was made famous by Glenn Miller, another prince of a fellow, but he deserves a post of his own!)


Harry Warren was born as Salvatore Antonio Guaragna in 1893 in Brooklyn, New York.  He wrote over 800 songs, and published 500 of them! You may click on his name and it will take you a website listing a great many of his songs but I can tell you that some of them are:

"At Last" ... you know this one don't you, it was the signature song of Ella Fitzgerald. It is sung very often at weddings these days! This song was a favorite of Harry Warren's, he would sometimes draw the melody of the first two bars of the song when signing an autograph!


"I Only Have Eyes For You"...This is such a beautiful melody.  I remember Art Gunfunkel having a big hit with this.  I had no idea it was written in 1934 for a movie called "Dames"!

"Jeepers, Creepers",  "Shuffle Off To Buffalo",  "42nd Street"  "That's Amore"    "We're In The Money"...he wrote all of these and he even wrote a Catholic mass! 

In fact, Harry Warren wrote the music for over 300 movies. Do you remember "Sleepless In Seattle" and how much the movie, "An Affair to Remember" was a big part of it? The same music used in the Cary Grant/Deborah Kerr movie from the 50's was used in the Tom Hanks/ Meg Ryan movie, and, yep, you guessed it, the music was by Harry Warren!

One of my favorites is "You'll Never Know".   I found a video of Alice Faye singing it and I think it is lovely!  I have read that the first few notes of this song are on his gravestone.

For all of the music that this man wrote in his lifetime, I am very grateful.   Not only did he write for the movies, but he wrote the music for over 112 Looney Tunes cartoons. I just bet that I heard every one of them. Wonderful melodies that shaped my childhood by Harry Warren, and I only just learned of him! 

 I have found the most wonderful video of Ian Whitcomb with Harry Warren himself, and they are singing "At Home In Pasadena" together!  It is so wonderful!  Ian Whitcomb could be Bugs Bunny on the ukulele, that is what it reminds me of...I am sorry but I really did watch a lot of cartoons.
If you look it up, perhaps you could listen to it too, it is so nice to hear this great man play the piano and sing!  (Can't seem to get it on my blog for some reason.)
 Hope you all have a wonderful weekend and a very happy Mother's Day!

28 comments:

  1. Kay, I love all of Harry Warren's music...yes, I watched those looney tunes cartoons too. I still like to hear the older tunes..Happy Mother's Day to you. xoxo,Susie

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    1. Great melodies live forever! That is my belief anyway.
      I LOVE old songs!
      Have a wonderful day today! xx

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  2. I used to think that William was cuter than Harry, but now that they are older, Harry is so much cuter.

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    1. Oh, I love them both!
      Did you not just LOVE William & Kate's wedding from last year? I did, thought it was fantastic!
      Hope you get to go on a nice hike today with your sweet dog!!
      Thanks for your comment, Kay!

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  3. Prince Harry is in Colorado Springs right now for the Warrior Games - Paralympic games for injured service members and veterans.

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    1. Oh yes, I know, isn't that such a good thing?
      Okay, I will admit, I am wild about Prince Harry too!
      If I was there, I would try to see him!

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  4. Great post! Harry Warren sure wrote some great songs -- the kind that get in your head and stay there for a couple of days at a time! Chattanooga Choo Choo, Shuffle Off to Buffalo and 42nd Street are all faves of mine!

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    1. Yes, great melodies seem to do that to a person!
      Wonderful music, I am so happy to find out who is behind these melodies.

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  5. P.S. Has Prince Harry taken off all his clothes and run around nekkid yet?

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    1. Not yet, but if he does, you know there will be some jerk who will make sure we see it!
      ;-)

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  6. Erm... I must be living under a rock, because I know I have not been climbing over one recently, and I entirely missed the Very Important Fact of Prince Harry visiting the U.S.... To be honest, I don't consider it my loss ;-)
    Never heard of Harry Warren either, until just now on your post. What a transformation - from Salvatore Guaragna (I bet his folks were originally from Sicily) to Harry Warren!

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    1. Hey, we have had a lot of bad news in the USA recently, so you can hardly blame the American press for reporting heavily on the visit of Prince Harry. Read the comment from Terry from Colorado Springs, he is doing a lot of good things while he is here. Good for him, we need good things done, I say.
      Oh yes, Harry Warren's parents were from Italy! I love his story, I didn't speak too much about his background, but if you look it up, it is very interesting that he came from such a poor background that his parents could not afford music lessons and yet, he grew up to write melodies that will live forever!

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  7. Beautiful -- he certainly was a wonderful composer. So sweet and romantic, and also so timeless; they don't write songs like that any more.

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    1. Timeless, exactly so!
      I am in wonder at people who can write music, and if the lyrics go perfectly with the music, it is pure magic!

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  8. Even though I have been living under a rock lately, I did somehow find out that Harry was visiting the US. I'm not familiar with Harry Warren and will have to check him out. Love your line about "or climbing all over one like me". So precious and so YOU!

    Happy Mother's Day, Kay!

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    1. Oh good, I am happy that you know the name of Harry Warren now. I just wish I had known him earlier!
      Yes! Sometimes, I miss the news when I am climbing on "my" rock!
      Happy Mother's Day to you too, I hope it is lovely.

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  9. You put up the most interesting posts, Kay! I always have fun when I visit --- and learn something new. I never knew who was behind this great tune.

    I wish you a wonderful Mother's Day!

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    1. Thanks, Martha! Now, I hope you will be humming one of this tunes, even if it wakes up your rabbit!

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  10. Jeepers Creepers - where'd you get those peepers, Kay. They are very effective at finding interesting things to post about. And I agree "You'll never know" is wonderful.

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    1. Great reference to a great song, John, good one! And thank you!
      Isn't that song dreamy? And I adore Alice Faye, I think she's wonderful!

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  11. Hi Kay!
    Of course I know that Prince Harry has been visiting Colorado and for a good purpose! Do you know that when I was a very little girl I wanted to grow up and marry Prince Charles? My grandmothers and great aunts had pictures of the Royal Family in their homes, and I was entranced with Charles! Now I am very, very happy to be ordinary and anonymous. I would never have made it as a princess!

    And thank you for the musical memories of Harry Warren! I know every song you mentioned, and I love "Chattanooga Choo Choo!"

    Happy Mother's Day to you! I hope you have a chance to spend some time with Chris!

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    1. Of course YOU really must have had a lot of press about Prince Harry, you should try to see him!
      Well, I don't know, I think Princess Louise sounds very nice!
      Alas, my son had to work today, but I got to see him a few nights ago, so that was my Mother's Day! :-)
      (Oh, and of course my friend who can't live without exclamation marks, would love Harry Warren!!!)

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  12. Happy Mother's Day! Those songs are some of my favorites.

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    1. Oh good, I am glad you like them too! xx

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  13. Great post, Kay! I read up a bit on Harry Warren when I was looking up info on "At Last" - but I didn't see all the interesting facts you've included here. What a talented guy, and how lucky we are to have access to his great musical legacy.

    P.S. I watched a lot of cartoons too - Looney Tunes were the best. "Stop steamin' up my tail!" "Such an INNNN-teresting monster...." :)

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    1. I was TICKLED to see the lines from "At Last" on your post since I was working on my Harry Warren post at the same time!
      I had NEVER heard his name until I looked up the background of Chattanooga Choo Choo when we got back from Cloudland Canyon! How many wonderful people are there that I need to know about? Don't worry, when I learn of them, they will be on my blog!! HA!

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  14. It must be an age thing but I actually knew who Harry Warren was. Actually when I saw the name I knew I knew who he was but it took me a few seconds (ok quite a few seconds) to recall it properly.

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    1. Here's the thing about me...I cannot for the life of me remember names. Even after this post, maybe a year from now if I hear the name "Harry Warren" I might not remember it.
      Sad but true.

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