Welcome to a new Musical Theatre Monday and the semi-continuation of our series of posts on the musical comedy works of lyricists B.G. DeSylva and Lew Brown with composer Ray Henderson. Their most famous work is Good News! (1927), which we covered here two years ago, and in these last few weeks we’ve featured the trio’s other scores: Manhattan Mary (1927), Hold Everything! (1928), Follow Thru (1929), and Flying High (1930). This post is called the semi-continuation of this series because the musical highlighted in today’s entry is down DeSylva, featuring a partnership solely between Brown and Henderson. These two men also collaborated (sans DeSylva) on George White’s Scandals of 1931 and Hot-Cha! (1932), both of which we’ve covered here in the past. Today’s musical is . . .
V. Strike Me Pink (03/04/33 – 06/10/33)
Bearing no connection to the 1936 Cantor-Merman film of the same title, this musical revue, which was backed in part (like Hot-Cha!) by gangster Waxey Gordon, began out of town with no stars and a leftist political slant but ended up playing New York (due to Gordon’s insistence) sanitized and with Jimmy Durante, Lupe Velez, and Hope Williams co-starring. (The only slightly political number left in tact was called “Home To Harlem”.) Not surprisingly, the production was only a moderate success and most of the appeal was based on the headliners — not any of the material, which was considered no more than pleasant. Frankly, Brown without DeSylva is certainly capable, but there’s a fundamental lack of wit in his output. Henderson’s tunes, however, remain charming, if not totally memorable. However, for those who have an affinity for amiable show tunes of the era (like I do), there’s some solid undiscovered gems here. Let’s sample a few, starting with the title tune, the score’s most catchy. The rendition below is by the divine Kay Thompson!
The simplistically romantic “Let’s Call It A Day” is sung below by Frank Munn, backed by Arden & Ohman and their orchestra.
From the Broadway by the Year series, here’s the fun and cheeky “Ooh, I’m Thinking.”
And we’ll close today’s post with the number that I find to be the show’s most musically interesting, “I Hate To Think That You’ll Grow Old, Baby,” performed below by Ramona (and her grand piano)!
Come back next Monday for another forgotten musical! And tune in tomorrow for the best from the third season of Mama’s Family!