by Evelyn J. Mocbeichel
When I was a little girl, I could easily believe our television only had two stations, from the selections my parents repeatedly watched. One channel would have to be featuring westerns, particularly starring John Wayne and the other would be any old black and white movie musical. Of course I don’t mean this literally because we did watch variety and entertainment programs like Ed Sullivan on Sunday evenings, Jackie Gleason, Red Skelton and Milton Berle. Then there were the popular family comedies like Father Knows Best, Ozzie and Harriet and My Little Margie, one of my favorites. They were all so sweet, innocent and could be watched by the whole family, no matter what age of the viewers. This is something that is a rarity in today’s television programming, even on the local channels without switching to cable ones where often “salty” language can be heard even in day time hours.
Back in the “old days” of television viewing, my dad loved the tap dancing and my mother enjoyed the singing in the movies they selected. In those days, most homes had only one television and the whole family watched the same programs, so that’s how I learned about all the fabulous songs that derived from Broadway plays. By the time I was old enough to enjoy the storyline, many of these plays had been made into movies and that is where I became familiar with what songs became hits in what productions. We didn’t go into the city to a Broadway theatre and most of our live entertainment was when my mother took me to Radio City Music Hall for the Christmas and Easter shows. (Decades ago Radio City had two live holiday spectacular productions) Many years later and currently, I enjoyed these same songs at the dinner theatre productions we attended in a nearby venue. Most people have heard of these popular award winnings songs, but perhaps are not aware of what show they debuted in. Thanks to the dynamic duo of Rodgers and Hammerstein, or Andrew Lloyd Webber, Irving Berlin and a host of astounding song writers these songs will live on forever. See how many plays you can name from the song titles below.
The Song: 1. Some Enchanted Evening, a romantic love song from a 1949; 2. Ol’ Man River, going further back in time to 1927; 3. Memory, (hint being the title is an animal); 4. You’ll Never Walk Alone; 5. Money, money makes the world go around; 6. There’s No Business Like Show Business; 7. Don’t Rain on My Parade! 8. If I were a Rich Man; 9. Ya’ Got Trouble (starring Robert Preston in the 1962 film); 10. The Impossible Dream; 11. Don’t Cry for me Argentina (politics of 1940); 12. Wouldn’t it be Loverly (Lerner and Lowe)
Answers: 1. South Pacific; 2. Show Boat; 3. Cats (Andrew Lloyd Webber’s finest); 4. Carousel (Rodgers & Hammerstein); 5. Cabaret; 6. Annie Get Your Gun; 7. Funny Girl (Barbra Streisand won best actress in 1968); 8. Fiddler on the Roof; 9. The Music Man; 10. Man of La Mancha; 11. Evita (Tim Rice lyrics with Webber’s music) 1979; 12. My Fair Lady (from Shaw’s Pygmalion).