Happy Birthday to Two!
"The Big Broadcast" is built around birthdays. It amazes me how many listeners don't realize that. It's a roundabout compliment maybe, since it suggests the salutes don't get in the way of the show. (On the other hand, it worries me that people may miss WFUV is listener-supported.) Typically, there'll be 6-8 salutes, but it runs as high as a dozen per show. Twice a year, around New Year's Eve and now, there are hardly any. Two tonight. But they're good: Buddy Clark and Johnny Hodges. To fill thing out, I play hits. It's not that they're avoided the other fifty Sundays, I'm no longer so self-destructive, but tonight is one of two Sundays I'll make a point of playing them. So, in addition to Buddy and Johnny, and a bunch of requests, songs we were enjoying the Dog Days of 1917 to 1937.
"Whoopee," Eddie Cantor's hit Broadway show, opened in December 1928; closed eleven months later. There was likely a tour after, and the movie version was released in 1930. In addition to "Makin' Whoopee," "Love Me or Leave Me" was the big song in the show. It was introduced by Ruth Etting, but recorded by other singers and dance bands on all the labels. The success of a song wasn't measured by an individual recording, but live radio performances, and, especially, sales of sheet music. Here's a March 1929 "Love Me or Leave Me" I'll be playing for the first time on tonight's show. Chances are it was on plenty of Victrolas (and Brunswick Panatropes) into the summer.