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Pete Smyser - An Affair To Remember (Celebrating the Songs of Harry Warren) (2014)

15-05-2014, 16:44
Music | Jazz | Easy Listening

Pete Smyser - An Affair To Remember (Celebrating the Songs of Harry Warren) (2014)

Artist: Pete Smyser
Title Of Album: An Affair To Remember (Celebrating the Songs of Harry Warren)
Year Of Release: 2014
Label: Pete Smyser
Genre: Jazz, Mainstream Jazz, Easy Listening
Quality: Mp3
Bitrate: 320 kbps
Total Time: 61:06 Min
Total Size: 149 Mb


01. The More I See You
02. Boulevard of Broken Dreams
03. My Heart Tells Me
04. Jeepers Creepers
05. You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby
06. September In the Rain
07. I'll String Along With You
08. Lulu's Back in Town
09. Serenade in Blue
10. You're My Everything
11. I Wish I Knew
12. Lullaby of Broadway
13. An Affair to Remember

Pete Smyser: guitar
Larry McKenna: sax
Tom Lawton: piano
Madison Rast: bass
Dan Monaghan: drums

Harry Warren (1893-1981) was one of the most successful composers in the history of popular American music. Yet, as I put this concert program together, it became clear that most people do not recognize his name. If I mention his songs such as “That’s Amore,” “Shuffle Off to Buffalo,” “The Gold Diggers Song (We’re in the Money)” and “At Last,” then puzzlement turns instantly to familiarity. Warren’s anonymity is surprising when you consider his staggering achievements...
• Harry Warren was nominated for 11 Oscars, winning three times for best song: “Lullaby of Broadway” in 1935,
“You’ll Never Know” in 1943 and “On the Atchison, Topeka and the Sante Fe” in 1946.
• He had 42 top 10 hit songs on the radio show “Your Hit Parade” and 21 of these reached #1 on the radio program.
At one point he achieved 24 consecutive top 10 hits on the popular show.
• Harry Warren had 27 #1 songs in either the US or the UK.
• His song “I Only Have Eyes for You” is one of the 25 most performed songs of the 20th Century, according to
the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP).
• Harry Warren wrote the music for the song that became the very first gold record in history – Glenn Miller’s
1941 recording of “Chattanooga Choo Choo.”
• Warren’s songs eventually appeared in over 300 films and 112 of Warner Brothers “Looney Tunes” cartoons.
So, why did other iconic composers of the era, such as Irving Berlin, enjoy immense personal fame while Harry Warren continued to write hit after hit with relative anonymity? One reason is that Warren had little to no organized publicity for himself while Irving Berlin had formed his own publicity company.
Through most of his career, Warren worked for movie studios that did little to acknowledge the staff songwriters under their employ. In fact, many of the early musical films do not even display the names of the studio’s in house songwriters during the opening or closing credits. It seems that the tremendously gifted and successfully productive songwriter was treated as a workhorse for studios such as Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox, MGM and Paramount. He was well paid for his efforts but given very little in the way of personal recognition.
Warren felt that the heads of the Hollywood movie studios had great respect for successful composers of theater music (Broadway Musicals) while songwriters were considered the lowest form of animal life. Perhaps this helps to explain why the names of composers such as Jerome Kern and Irving Berlin were more prominently advertised in movie credits.
Entire songbooks dedicated to individual works of composers such as George Gershwin, Jerome Kern and Cole Porter can easily be found for purchase, but I have yet to find a published book offering a collection of exclusively Harry Warren songs. What a shame it is that this genius is not more celebrated. As you listen to this recording, I hope that you will share my enthusiasm for the songs of Harry Warren. He certainly is celebrated here! -Pete Smyser

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