Now that I’m back to wandering through the local antique stores and malls looking for original movie posters and lobby cards I’m always reminded of one certainty. Very rarely do I actually find anything that catches my eye from the golden age of Hollywood unless I’m interested in sheet music. Yes there are always star studded cover sheets of lyrics and music notes available for those looking to learn the latest song sung by Eddie Cantor or Judy Holiday. I always picture these opened atop a piano which only confirms my suspicions that piano’s were in far more homes in the 30’s and 40’s then they are today.
If only movie posters from this era were so cheap and easy to trip over. As it is I can’t read music so I’m not likely to sit down and play On the Sentimental Side on my guitar from the latest Crosby picture but I guess if I knew the tune I might be able to play and sing it by ear. No I don’t collect these so they are not in my personal collection but I thought I was a little overdue at taking a second look at the sheet music that was relevant back in the golden age of Hollywood using the images of the box office stars to separate film fans from the their small pocket change.
To view my first look at sheet music and the stars, click here to sing along.
Judy Holiday sings Just in Time. The film, Bells Are Ringing released in 1960 has been a long time favorite of mine that teamed Judy with Dean Martin.
The popular team of McDonald and Eddy at MGM. Absent from the cover art is that film newbie, James Stewart. I wonder how he made it in Hollywood?
A silent film star sings! Ramon Navarro of Ben-Hur fame moved into the talkies and little did I know, sang in the 1929 film, The Pagan.
“Let’s Put Our Heads Together” Sounds appropriate considering our stars Joan Blondell and Dick Powell were soon to be married following the production. The pair were married on September 19th, 1936. The film released shortly thereafter.
We can always count on Bing Crosby to grace the cover of sheet music. To this day he’s still one of my favorite crooners. Here he is starring and singing in the 1938 release, Doctor Rhythm.
Now here’s a title I’d love to see some hotshot singer of the modern era remake. “Oh! Gee, Oh! Gosh, Oh! Golly I’m in Love.” Maybe “The Biebs” whose home town of Stratford, Ontario I had breakfast in just this morning. Not likely to happen so if you want to hear it I guess you’ll have to seek out Eddie Cantor’s version.
For me, Shantytown is an unknown movie as is the actress, Mary Lee, and the song, “On the Corner of Sunshine and Main” proving once again that when it comes to film history there is always something more to learn. A quick look at the IMDB reveals she was a frequent costar of singing cowboy, Gene Autry.
The 1933 MGM release with Marion Davies has sheet music to accompany it that can be yours for the low low cover price of just .35 cents.
The popular Tracy/Dunne film of 1943 offered up some sheet music of it’s own.
Thank Your Lucky Stars was the big budget WW2 effort from Warner Brothers featuring the majority of their top talent they had under contract during the war years. The sheet music wisely put those faces on the cover.
I’ll close with a clip from the film featuring your singing film star, Bette Davis. Surprised?