I Feel a Song Coming On

I Feel a Song Coming On : The Life of Jimmy McHugh

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&&LI&& Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:"; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-ansi-language:#0400; mso-fareast-language:#0400; mso-bidi-language:#0400;} This first biography of Jimmy McHugh captures a lively and significant contributor to American songwriting. Creator of favorite tunes such as \u0022I'm in the Mood for Love\u0022 and \u0022On the Sunny Side of the Street,\u0022 McHugh was a one-man history of twentieth-century popular music: in his prolific composing career, he wrote songs for Duke Ellington, Shirley Temple, Bobby Breen, Carmen Miranda, Deanna Durbin, Frank Sinatra, Ethel Waters, Adelaide Hall, and scores of other entertainers. His last works were turned into smash hits by Pat Boone and Fats Domino, making McHugh one of the few musicians to have written successfully for numerous genres from ragtime to rock 'n' roll. Following McHugh from humble Irish-American beginnings in Boston to eventual success in New York, Europe, and Los Angeles, Alyn Shipton deftly evokes the lively milieus of Tin Pan Alley, the Cotton Club, Broadway, and Hollywood. McHugh began his career in the classical world working alongside such superstars as Enrico Caruso, but he soon became a song plugger for Irving Berlin and began writing his own popular songs during World War I. He crossed the color line frequently, writing revues for African American casts at the Cotton Club as well as for Gertrude Lawrence, Bob Crosby, and Florenz Ziegfeld. He and his songwriting partner Dorothy Fields were also among the first to create Hollywood musical films. In the 1940s, McHugh began heroic efforts at fundraising for the war effort and for the crusade against polio, and as a result he became a leading member of the Beverly Hills community. His involvement extended to the East Coast as well, as he had political and friendly social ties in New England politics and with the Kennedy family in particular, and he also wrote the official state song of Massachusetts. He continued to write songs for shows, movies, and revues and managed up-and-coming singers late in his life.

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Product details

  • Hardback | 288 pages
  • 154.94 x 238.76 x 30.48mm | 453.59g
  • University of Illinois Press
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • 0252034651
  • 9780252034657
  • 1,793,378

About Alyn Shipton

Alyn Shipton jazz critic for the Times of London and a regular broadcaster on BBC Radio. His books include A New History of Jazz and biographies of Bud Powell, Fats Waller, and Dizzy Gillespie.

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Review quote

"A brilliantly researched biography that ... details the activities of Tin Pan Alley in its golden age of song-plugging glory... You will be fascinated by this 280-page amalgamation of musical education and entertainment."--MOJO "Recommended."--Choice "An overdue recognition of his tireless song plugger who fashioned enduring hits for Tin Pan Alley and Hollywood.--The Miami Herald

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Table of contents

Introduction; Acknowledgements; List of illustrations 1 "Home Before Dark" A Boston Childhood 2 "When My Sugar Walks Down The Street" Arriving in New York 3 "Everything Is Hotsy Totsy Now" A sequence of hit songs 4 "I Can't Give You Anything But Love (Baby)" Meeting Dorothy Fields 5: "Livin' In A Great Big Way" Fields and McHugh on Broadway and in Hollywood 6: "Goodbye Blues" The Split from Dorothy Fields 7 "Dimples" A sequence of child stars 8 "My Kind of Country" Movies, Romance and World War Two 9 "A Lovely Way to Spend An Evening" The great years in Beverly Hills 10 "Reach For Tomorrow" Final years in Los Angeles, and a growing legacy Notes and abbreviations; Bibliography; Index

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