19 June 2010

The Harry Warren Countdown, No. 1

1. "Dames" (1934)

Man, do I love this damned song. "Dames" was the eponymous song from the 1934 picture, and just about everything about it is great. An energetic and memorable tune, a toe-tapping rhythm, humorous lyrics and one of Busby Berkeley's best production numbers to go along with it. I'm hardly an expert on the subject, but nevertheless I'll put this song forward as one of the best of the pre-swing era.

The version featured above is a great recording by British singer Leslie Holmes, about whom very little information seems to be extant. Dick Powell -- there he is again! -- sang the song in Dames, but I actually think Leslie Holmes' performance is just a little bit better, even without a production number to go with it. Feel free to check out said production number the film, and see which one you like better.

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