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!
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!