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MilesArcher

Theme Songs

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I had an idea for a new thread that could be a lot of fun. Many entertainers over the years had theme songs that they were closely associated with. They weren't neccessarily their biggest hit songs, but songs that were usually played when the artist was introduced. Most big bands had theme songs. Some had both opening and closing theme songs. Besides singers and musicians, many comedians had theme songs. We can work this thread in one of two ways. The poster can post the entertainer's name and the responder will name the theme song, or the poster can name the theme song and the responder can name the entertainer. If you can post a video or even an audio example of the song, then all the better. For instance, If I posted the name Bob Hope, the response should be "Thanks For The Memory". Here is Bob with Shirley Ross In "The Big Broadcast Of 1938".

 

 

Let's give it a try. We'll start with an easy one. Bing Crosby (Hint; It's not "White Christmas")

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Milton Berle's theme song was an old big band number called "Near You". If you watch this clip and fast forward to the last two minutes, you'll hear it.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJFsNcIOaW0

 

I used to think that his theme was the song in this next clip.

 

 

 

When he lost the TV ratings war to Bishop Sheen, Berle joked that at least they had the same sponsor, Sky Chief.

 

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You got it, MN. If you care to post a video or audio clip of the song, please do so. You get to post the next name now.

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The original post stated "entertainer" not specifically a musical performer...so...

 

How about Thelma Todd.

What was her theme song/music?

 

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I have it on very good authority that Thelma's theme music was "Beautiful Lady" Check this out from two years ago.

 

http://forums.tcm.com/thread.jspa?threadID=156601

 

I couldn't find an example with Thelma on Youtube, but this may be the tune.

 

 

 

Thelma made her short films for Hal Roach, who used the same stock music in Laurel and Hardy, and Our Gang short films.

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^http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pitts_and_Todd#cite_note-garvinandbyron-2^The 1930 [Leroy Shield|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leroy_Shield|Leroy Shield] song "Beautiful Lady" was used as the [theme song|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theme_song|Theme song] for the Pitts and Todd films....but did Thelma Todd have a theme song for herself alone ?^[theme song|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pitts_and_Todd#cite_note-themesong-3]^^[theme song|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pitts_and_Todd#cite_note-4]^^[theme song|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pitts_and_Todd#cite_note-threestooges-5]^

 

 

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> {quote:title=MilesArcher wrote:

> }{quote}I have it on very good authority that Thelma's theme music was "Beautiful Lady". Check this out from two years ago.

>

> [t-156601]

>

> I couldn't find an example with Thelma on Youtube, but this may be the tune.

>

>

>

 

 

Yes, the guy who posted that info two years ago was right (oh, that's me!, as Groucho used to say!)

The tune is "Beautiful Lady" written by Leroy Shield.

It was used as theme music for most of the Thelma Todd shorts but not all.

And yes, that YouTube link is the tune.

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> {quote:title=mudskipper wrote:}{quote}

> ^The 1930 [Leroy Shield|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leroy_Shield|Leroy Shield] song "Beautiful Lady" was used as the [theme song|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theme_song|Theme song] for the ZaSu Pitts and Thelma Todd films....but did Thelma Todd have a theme song for herself alone ?^

 

 

No, "Beautiful Lady" was the only theme she had. It was used throughout her shorts series at Hal Roach (and they even continued to use it for the remaining three shorts in the series made with Thelma's replacements Pert Kelton and Lyda Roberti).

 

The title of the tune certainly does fit Thelma, and it could possibly have been written for her, as one of its first usages was for her appearances in the 1930 Roach short ANOTHER FINE MESS starring Laurel & Hardy (before her own series co-starring with ZaSu Pitts and later Patsy Kelly).

 

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Regarding Thelma Todd and her tendency to associate with characters a little bit on the wild side, "Hot Toddy", shown below, would have been an appropriate theme song for her. Unfortunately, it was composed by band leader Ralph Flanagan much later in 1953...

 

 

 

 

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Correct!

 

Actually, Charley Chase's films had three different theme tunes:

The first talkie shorts (1928 - 1930) used the 1925 hit song "Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie".

Then later, in the late 1930's at Columbia they used "For He's A Jolly Good Fellow" as the theme tune for some of his shorts.

 

But "Gangway Charlie" by Leroy Shield is the best and best-known theme for Charley Chase.

So.....

You're up next!

 

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Thanks. Let's go in a slightly different direction. Several big bands took classical music pieces and turned them into hits. One band of the thirties and forties made an arrangement using Chopin's "Nocturne". They added lyrics, gave it a new title, and used it as their theme song. Can you name the band and the re-titled song?

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Chopin's Nocturne in E-Flat was made into the song "To Love Again" by bandleader-pianist Eddie Duchin and was the theme song in "The Eddy Duchin Story" starring Tyrone Power...Both The Four Aces and Vic Damone had hit versions of the song....

 

 

--- Piano piece

 

 

 

-- The Four Aces

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