I still get nervous. Not when doing the radio show, or a newspaper or other interview. Not TV, either, assuming I have "Hair. makeup & lighting" approval. What rattles me is having to explain what I do in front of an audience who has next-to-no idea who I am.
Lyricist Harold Adamson was born in Greenville, NJ on December 10, 1906, one of five birthdays being celebrated on tonight's "Big Broadcast." One of Adamson's first songs is his most-enduring, "Time on My Hands," which was written with Mack Gordon and composer Vincent Youmans for an unsuccessful 1930 musical, "Smiles." Most of his early songs were written with Burton Lane, who was 18 when they first collaborated. An interesting exception is "Here's Hoping," where a comparative "old timer," J. Fred Coots, was composer.
To quote the notes to "The Big Broadcast" Volume 10, ""Delicious," a Fox musical starring Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell, has the Gershwins' first complete movie score. Only the "Second Rhapsody" (initially "New York Rhapsody, later "Rhapsody in Rivets") has had much of an afterlife.
Okay, it doesn't rise to the level of "A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma," but there are a couple of curiosities tied to this week's featured recording. "The Little Show" was a 1929 Broadway hit. Most of the score was written by Arthur Schwartz, whose birthday is being celebrated on tonight's "Big Broadcast." His "I Guess I'll Have to Change My Plan" was most likely introduced by Clifton Webb (you may remember him from "Laura"). Curiously, I can't find a single period recording of the song. For some reason, it started being recorded enthusiastically in late 1932. Maybe it was interpolated into another show, possibly shows up in a movie; perhaps Rudy Vallee or Bing Crosby began to feature it on their radio shows.
I won't whine about all the birthdays, although there are nine being celebrated on tonight's "Big Broadcast." The toughest part, especially when the nonet includes such major talents as Hoagy Carmichael, Tommy Dorsey and Coleman Hawkins, is getting it all to fit into four hours. The nine stacks represent Carmichael to Cecil Scott, and there are twenty more 78s that have to be added. So, it'll be another fruitcake dense program. But I'm not whining!