Two Gems: A Forgotten Gershwin Tune & A Forgotten Emmy-Winning Sitcom

Welcome to Wildcard Wednesday ! In this post, I want to share with you two relatively new discoveries that I’ve made this week. The first is a single-season multi-camera sitcom from 1967-1968, and the other is a song from 1923 with music by George Gershwin and lyrics by Irving Caesar.

 

He & She (1967-1968)

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This forgotten series lasted only one season. Considered the bridge between the smart writing of The Dick Van Dyke Show and the smart writing of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, He & She is one unique series. It was shot multi-camera with a live studio audience. As most TV fans know, the majority of ’60s sitcoms were shot single-camea without an audience. (The Dick Van Dyke Show and The Lucy Show are the only notable exceptions.) Also, though the series only lasted a year, three of its stars earned Emmy nominations and two individual episodes were nominated for best writing. And one of the episodes, “The Coming Out Party”, won!

He & She stars Paula Prentiss and Richard Benjamin as a husband and wife living in New York City. She is a social worker, and he is a cartoonist for a comic strip, Jetman. Jack Cassidy plays the egotistical star of the Jetman television series, Oscar North. Other regulars include a fireman living right across from Dick and Paula, played by Kenneth Mars, and Hamilton Camp as the couple’s goofy handyman.

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Unfortunately, this series has NEVER been released on DVD. However, I just purchased a set from iOffer consisting of 25 syndicated copies of the 26 episodes.(The only episode I do not have is called “Easy Way Out.” If anyone has it, please let me know!) So far I’ve watched about half of the episodes. Expect more about this series when I write about my favorite episodes on an upcoming Situation Comedy Tuesday post!

For today’s blog, I wanted to share an exclusive episode–never before posted online. This is from the 12th episode of the series, “Deep In The Heart Of Taxes.” It aired on 11/22/67. In this episode, Dick is about to be audited by the IRS and Paula hasn’t told him about all the money she won on the horses.

 

 

 

“Nashville Nightingale” (M: G. Gershwin; L: I. Caesar) from Nifties of 1923

I first heard this song two days ago in a 12-hour WNYC tribute to George Gershwin that aired in the ’80s. The divine Rebecca Luker sang this song. It was originally introduced in a revue entitled Nifties of 1923, presumably by Jane Greene. The moment I heard this delightful ditty, I thought the melody was so hot and so… Gershwin…that I had to share it with you! This is an incredibly HOT rendition from 1927:

 

Here are the lyrics:

 

There’s a sweet singing lady down in Tennessee

I mean Nashville, Tennessee.

Everyone down in Dixie loves her harmony;

I mean craves her harmony.

All the darktown preachers and the Bible teachers

Say they’re losing all their trade

Cause the good church people all desert the steeple

When she starts to serenade.

Oh, you won’t find a body what is feeling blue

Down in Nashville, Tennesse,

Cause when they get that way,

They run to her and say:

 

Nashville Nightingale,

Sing a little tune for me,

Croon for me.

Nashville Nightingale,

Gimme some of this:

Voh doh dee oh dee oh, voh doh dee oh dee oh.

Nashville Nightingale,

Up and down the scale for me,

Wail for me;

Nightingale, don’t fail;

Fill my heart with bliss.

When you sing, voh dee oh doh dee oh voh doh dee oh,

Oh, oh, oh, oh, baby how you thrill me!

Voh dee oh doh dee oh voh doh dee oh,

Darktown Tetrazini how you kill me!

‘Neath the Swannee moon,

Sing a little tune for me,

Croon for me.

Voh dee oh dee oh, the Nashville Nightingale!

Voh dee oh dee oh, the Nashville Nightingale!

~ From “Nashville Nightingale” (Lyrics by Irving Caesar)

 

Once we complete our series on “The Three Best Cole Porter Shows That You’ve Never Heard Of”, expect the next few Musical Theatre Mondays to examine some forgotten Gershwin shows!

 

 

I hope you enjoyed learning about this forgotten sitcom and this forgotten song. Come back next Wednesday for another Wildcard post. And remember tomorrow is Xena Thursdays where I’ll continue counting down the sixty best episodes of the exciting action series!

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3 thoughts on “Two Gems: A Forgotten Gershwin Tune & A Forgotten Emmy-Winning Sitcom

  1. Pingback: Spring Break Research RECAP (II of II) | THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT!

    • Hi, Robert. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Thank you for your kind words — I’m glad you’re enjoying my hard work! As I’ve mentioned before, June 2013 is when I began blogging. This is my first and only site. (Every single post can be accessed from the home page.) But stay tuned for more entries; I’ve got stuff planned and written for the next four months. And I intend to be around for several years to come!

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