Songwriter Sammy Lerner was born in Romania 112 years ago this week. A household name he isn't, but Lerner left us two memorable, very distinct signature songs, "I'm Popeye the Sailor Man" and "Falling in Love Again." Sammy gets a salute on this week's "Big Broadcast," along with the formidable Jerome Kern, top 1920s lyricist Buddy De Sylva, and Harry Ruby, composer of "Three Little Words." Ruby and Kern were the subject of Hollywood "biopics," with Ruby portrayed by Red Skelton, and Robert Walker as Jerome Kern.
I recorded this show before I did last Sunday's live one. I expected to like the last one more, since it included Al Bowlly and Henry "Red" Allen, but this one may be better. Sometimes the birthdays line up so well, I'd have to go out of my way to wreck it. There are three distinctive voices: Henry Burr, Sophie Tucker and Russ Columbo. Burr began recording in 1903, and was active until his passing in 1941. Sophie Tucker was making cylinder recordings in 1910, and I remember seeing her on "The Ed Sullivan Show." Russ Columbo had a short, tragic life.
I try to get these posts done early, and include a recording tied to the evening's "Big Broadcast." That's easier when I've the relatively recent luxury of recording the show during the week. Tonight's a live one, #2155. So was #1, which was heard on WFUV January 7, 1973.
First, "Talking Through My Heart" won't be heard on tonight's "Big Broadcast," even though it is a recording by Vincent Lopez and his Orchestra. Lopez gets a birthday salute, along with fellow piano-playing leader, Earl Hines, composer George W. Meyer and lyricist Edgar Leslie. Historically, I get the jitters with only four salutes, but it worked out okay, even with just a handful of requests. And I hardly grabbed any unrelated records, although one of them, "Dancing on the Ceiling," is posted below.