Thursday, May 2, 2013

Happy birthday, lyricist Lorenz Hart

It is the birthday of Broadway lyricist Lorenz Hart (1895), who teamed with composer Richard Rodgers, wrote songs that have become standards, including Mountain Greenery (1926), With a Song in My Heart (1929), The Lady is a Tramp (1937), Where or When (1937), My Funny Valentine (1937), Falling in Love with Love (1938), and Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered (1940). One of the most popular songs the team wrote was Blue Moon (1935). Hart wrote four sets of lyrics before it finally was successful. Under contract with MGM, he and Rodgers wrote the song for a 1934 movie called Hollywood Party but it was never recorded. Hart rewrote the lyrics twice more for other MGM movies. It was cut once and, with more new lyrics, flopped. Finally, as Blue Moon, it was released commercially and licensed to a radio program, Hollywood Hotel, as a theme song. After that it was featured in seven more MGM films and covered by numerous recording artists. Here is Nat King Cole's version.

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