Hooray for Hollywood! A Song from Hollywood Hotel

While listening to a movie related podcast the other day, I heard the popular tune “Hooray for Hollywood” and I have not been able to get it out of my head since! I didn’t know much about the song, but because I was pretty sure it held a significant place in the history of Hollywood, I felt like I should know more about it. I’ve heard the melody many times but realized that I didn’t even know any of the lyrics to the song other than the words of the title, so I thought I’d do a little research on its history.

The song “Hooray for Hollywood” was composed in the late 1930’s by Richard Whiting, who is also known for the standards “Ain’t We Got Fun” and “On the Good Ship Lollipop,” the latter made famous by Shirley Temple in the movie Bright Eyes (1934). It was first featured in the movie Hollywood Hotel (1937) starring Dick Powell, Rosemary & Lola Lane, and Ted Healy. It was sung by Johnnie Davis and Frances Langford, who were accompanied by Benny Goodman and his orchestra. Continue reading →

Happy Birthday Hoagy Carmichael

Hoagy Carmichael, a successful songwriter, composer, pianist, and actor, was born on this date, November 22, 1899 in Bloomington, Indiana. Carmichael started playing the piano at age six, having been influenced by his mother who helped support the family by playing piano at parties and as an accompaniment to silent movies.

As a songwriter, he is well known for his songs “Stardust” and “Georgia On My Mind”, the former having been recorded by several singers including Bing Crosby in 1931, and the latter having been recorded most notably by Ray Charles. In 1935, he moved to California and started composing songs for Paramount Studios in Hollywood. Some of the movies he composed songs for were I Met Him in Paris (“I Met Him in Paris”), Romance in the Dark (“The Nearness of You”), and Some Like it Hot with Bob Hope (“Heart and Soul”). Continue reading →