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Body And Soul (an anthology of selected standards by Billie Holiday including "Body and Soul", music by Johnny Green, words by Edward Heyman, Robert Sour and Frank Eyton)
Born: March 14, 1907, New York City
Died: 1981 Jalisco, Mexico
Primary songwriting role: lyricist; also a theater director
Overview and Commentary
Edward Heyman (This section remains in preparation)
Heyman, whose name is not well known but whose songs are, gave his popular songwriting career an early boost when he co-wrote the lyrics to "Body and Soul" (1930) one of the most oft-recorded songs in both the popular and jazz repertoires. Although born in New York, Heyman was raised in Chicago by a wealthy family, and was educated at the University of Michigan where he wrote lyrics for campus musicals. After Ann Arbor, he returned to New York where he pursued song writing as a career.
Edward Heyman (lyricist) and Dana Suesse composer play and sing some of their songs in the video below. The following comments are from ednayarkspay to whom we owe thanks for the video as well as the following remarks:
Unaccustomed to publicly performing, Heyman (whose numerous lyrics included "Body and Soul," "Out of Nowhere" and "Through The Years") was directed to stand by the keyboard behind an enormous canister shaped microphone and sing songs he had written, accompanied by the composer at the keyboard. He sang only slightly better than Dana, who once told the New York Post, "I sing like an old vulture." Eddie sang "Ho Hum," their runaway hit from 1931, followed by "My Darling," a number he had written with Richard Myers for Earl Carroll's Vanities. Dana obliged and played a florid accompaniment, even though she had not collaborated on that song. This is one of the many times in her career when a manager could have made a better suggestion. Heyman then introduced Gertrude Niesen, who was ascending as one of the greatest torch singers of the decade. Wearing a large corsage on a velvet gown, standing in front of a wall tapestry, Niesen gave all the emotion possible in such a formal, brightly lit environment, and sang the most current Heyman-Suesse song, "My Silent Love." The short subject was titled 'Tableau' and was shown at selected theatres throughout the country during July, 1933, between features, like a cartoon or newsreel. This was the first and last time Suesse and Heyman would be filmed for motion pictures. Fortunately, they had a sense of humor about it. Years later Dana saw the film and laughed, "Look --I wasn't wearing a bra in those days!" The following year, Heyman and Suesse went on to create the song that became Hollywood's unofficial anthem, "You Oughta Be In Pictures." [Visit the YouTube page for the video below to read the remainder of these comments.]
Peter Mintun discusses, sings, plays (on Dana Suesse's piano) and illustrates
"You Oughta Be in Pictures" (words by Edward Heyman, music by Dana Suesse, 1933)
"This is the most popular of Dana Suesse's compositions, copyrighted in February of 1934. By 1933 she and Edward Heyman (lyricist) had a string of song successes and boasted to their publisher that they could write a hit in 15 minutes. For the tune, Suesse appropriated a melody from a 1901 ballet piece by Riccardo Drigo (1846-1930) ('Serenade' from Les Millions d' arlequin). Heyman, who was very prolific with catch phrases (Out Of Nowhere, Ho Hum, Shake Well Before Using, Body and Soul), created a lyric using names of famous movie stars, some of whom were more famous in silent films (Tom Mix, Richard Dix, Lilyan Tashman, Janet Gaynor). According to their story, they locked themselves in a rehearsal room at the publisher's office and emerged 15 minutes later with "You Oughta Be In Pictures." Years later Heyman told me he approached the publisher with the idea of a lyric that included names of contemporary stars such as Warren Beatty. "Don't tamper with a classic," he was told. Although the sheet music says the song emanated from the Columbia film 'New York Town,' there is no such title in the Columbia catalog. All three refrains are heard in this video, played on the Steinway concert grand that was purchased by Suesse in August of 1934." Peter Mintun
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