One of the dangers of surfing – internet not wave – is that one thing leads to another a little bit like a politician’s speech. You know what I mean – A leads to B leads to C which leads to D and perhaps even to E. At that point A has no relationship to E but by then all logic has gone out of the equation anyway.
Where was I? Oh yes internet surfing. In my search for things related to Lillian Roth I came across one of the many Screen Songs that played in movie houses in the 1920s, 30s and 40s. In those days going to the movie was a full days/evenings entertainment. You got a newsreel, a travel feature, a cartoon, a sing-along short, coming attractions, a comedy short and the featured movie. All for a dime!
In 1924 Paramount introduced Max Fleischer’s Bouncing Ball Song shorts and in 1931 integrated celebrity singers into the action – often as promotion for their upcoming live appearances . Rudy Vallee was the first star to encourage the audience to raise their voices in joyful song; amongst others were Arthur Tracy, Ethel Merman, Baby RoseMarie (yes Dick Van Dyke’s Rose Marie), the Mills Brothers, Cab Calloway, the Boswell Sisers and Lillian Roth. Here she is with Tommy and Mariah Cat encouraging us all to join along in “Ain’t She Sweet?”
“Ain’t She Sweet?” was composed in 1927 by Milton Agar to lyrics by Jack Yellen and became a Tin Pan Ally standard. As a sidebar – surfing again Willym??? – it was written by Agar for his two year old daughter Shana who was better known as journalist/editor Shana Alexander who appeared regularly as a political commentator on 60 Minutes. There you see – D really does have no relationship to A.
May 13th is both Frog Jumping Day and Leprechaun Day – so I suppose if you jump over the rainbow you’ll get that pot of gold. Or perhaps you have to jump over a frog? I’m never to sure with this days how exactly you commemorate them.