10 June 2010

The Harry Warren Countdown, No. 10

If you don't know the name Harry Warren, you should. Even if you've never heard of the man, odds are that you've heard his music. Harry Warren -- born Salvatore Antonio Guaragna in Brooklyn -- wrote an astounding number of songs in his lifetime, which run the gamut from Academy Award-winning musical numbers to enduring Jazz standards. A cursory glance at his curriculum vitae will likely reveal at least a half-dozen recognizable songs, even for those who aren't big on classic movies.

For the next ten days, I'll be enumerating my ten favorite Harry Warren songs (and trust me, narrowing it down to just ten is no easy task). So, without further ado...

10. "Forty-Second Street" (1933)

The titular song and grand finale number from the movie that just about single-handedly revitalized the Musical genre, "Forty-Second Street" combines an almost martial cadence with a jazzy and endlessly catchy melody. The end result is a song that perfectly captures the energy of its subject matter, perfectly accentuated by the visual accompaniment in the film 42nd Street, as shown here (Ruby Keeler's obvious lip-synching notwithstanding). It's an enduring classic.

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