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Music: Pennies from Heaven

Find out all about the songs and composers featured in Pennies from Heaven.

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Down Sunny Side Lane - Jimmy Campbell and Reg Connelly

Lyricist Jimmy Campbell formed a songwriting partnership with Reginald Connelly in the 1920s, and the duo, often writing under the pseudonym Irving King, had hits in the UK and USA. Their successful songs included Goodnight Sweetheart and Try a Little Tenderness, which was a hit in 1933 and again in 1966 when it was covered by Otis Reading. 

The Clouds Will Soon Roll By - Harry Woods and Mort Dixon

Despite being born with no fingers on his left hand, Harry Woods was an excellent pianist and composed some of the most recognizable hits from the 1930s, including When the Red, Red Robin Comes Bob Bob Bobbing Along. He frequently worked with collaborators and was one of the writers of Try a Little Tenderness, and he often worked with the New York lyricist Mort Dixon, who is famed for writing Bye Bye Blackbird and That Old Gang of Mine. 

Pennies From Heaven - John Burke and Arthur Johnson

John Burke was regarded as one of the finest American songwriters between the 1920s and 50s. He began his career in 1926 as a song salesman and pianist for the Irving Berlin publishing company before moving to Hollywood in 1936, and it was here that he partnered with New York composer Arthur Johnson. The two wrote movie scores together, including Pennies from Heaven, before Johnson joined the 351st Infantry during WWII. Burke went on to spend his career working with Paramount Pictures as a lyricist on Bing Crosby films. 

I’ve Found the Right Girl - Noel Gay

Noel Gay was one of Britain’s most successful composers of the 1930s, Run Rabbit Run being his most famous song. He is the only composer beside Andrew Lloyd Webber to have four shows running simultaneously in London’s West End, his most famous being Me and My Girl. Gay went on to write songs for reviews and star artists including Gracie Fields and George Formby.  

You’ve Got Me Crying - Charles Newman and Isham Jones

Charles Newman wrote lyrics for Isham Jones’ popular dance band. In the 1920s and 30s, the band was one of the most popular in England before re-establishing itself in New York. Despite a fraught recording schedule which saw the company disband and re-organise on numerous occasions, they recorded timeless classics including Sweet Georgia Brown (with a young Bing Crosby), Old Lace and You’ve Got Me Crying.  

Serenade in the Night - Ceasare Andrea Bixio and Jimmy Kennedy

Roll Along Covered Wagon - Jimmy Kennedy

The music for Serenade in the Night was written by the popular Italian composer Ceasare Andrea Bixio, and British lyricist Jimmy Kennedy took the music as a base for the song. Kennedy was also the man behind The Hokey Cokey (which was a reworking of a song called Cokey Cokey) and The Teddy Bears' Picnic.   

My Baby Said Yes - Con Conrad and Cliff Friend

Con Conrad received the first Academy Award for Best Song in 1934. He began his career in a Harlem movie house playing songs to accompany silent films, and in 1920, he had his first hit, Margie. As a member of the Tin Pan Alley group of songwriters, he collaborated with Cliff Friend. Friend wrote a string of hits in his life, but perhaps his most famous was the song The Merry Go Round Broke Down, which became the theme song to the Looney Tunes cartoons. 

Riptide - Gustav Gerson Kahn and Walter Donaldson

At the age of 20, Gustav Kahn began publishing his work and contributed to numerous Broadway scores and several movies for MGM. As part of Tin Pan Alley, he worked with composer Walter Donaldson who had previously worked in Irving Berlin’s publishing firm. He produced some 600 songs including Little White Lies, Making Whoopee and My Mammy, which was a huge hit for Al Jolson. 

Painting the Clouds with Sunshine - Al Dubin and Joseph Burke

In 1926, Al Dubin was one of the first songwriters to be hired for talking pictures. He wrote many songs with Joseph Burke, such as Tiptoe Through the Tulips, Painting the Clouds with Sunshine and The Kiss Waltz. Dubin later joined forces with Harry Warren and wrote massive hits including We’re in the Money and 42nd Street.  

March Winds and April Showers - Walter Samuels and Teddy Powell 

Teddy Powel was an American Jazz guitarist, composer and big band leader, leading his first big band when he was just 15. He had a very successful six-week run at the Famous Door in New York. After the band broke up in 1944, he continued to compose and arrange, writing hit songs including Bewildered and If My Heart Could Talk

You and the Night and the Music - Howard Dietz and Arthur Schwartz

As a publicist, Howard Dietz conceived the MGM motto and the distinctive Leo the Lion. Many of his greatest songs were written with composer Arthur Schwartz who he first worked on The Little Show in 1929. Schwartz was a songwriter for Broadway until the 1960s and between them they created a number of memorable hits such as Dancing in the Dark and That’s Entertainment!. After the depression, the duo wrote their first book musical Revenge With Music which featured the hit You and the Night and the Music. 

Dreaming a Dream - James Waller and Joseph A Tunbridge

James Tunbridge and James Waller worked together throughout their entire careers. Waller began his career in minstrel shows while Turnbridge was a pianist of Star Music Publishers, and their partnership began in 1928 with Virginia, which became popular with amateur societies. 

My Woman - Bing Crosby

As one of the first multimedia stars, Bing Crosby had unrivalled record sales from 1934 to 1954. He is cited among the most popular musical acts in history and his voice remains the most electronically recorded in history. In 1948, polls declared him one of the most admired men alive and Music Digest estimated that his recordings filled more than 40,000 hours. His career lasted from 1926 until his death in 1977.

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