I thought that the image from this cover painted by Dr. Seuss for Judge magazine for its first issue of 1931 might fit today’s situation here in the USA, at least in the view of many folks. It shows a New Year’s reveler waking up to find a creature in his bed. The prior night–the year before– it had looked pretty good. Lots of fun and lots of promises of all the things it would do for him. But here in the bright light of the New Year he realizes that the party is over now and he is left with a monster on his hands — and little idea of what to do with it.
What comes next with this strange creature we have found in our bed?
I also thought long and hard about what music I wanted to use for this first Sunday Morning Music of 2017. I wanted it to be as optimistic as possible given the circumstances of having a strange critter in our bed. I thought that the first version of Singin’ in the Rain might fit the bill just perfectly.
It was from 1929 and was a number one hit for performer Cliff Edwards, better known as Ukelele Ike, who had a number of hits through the 20’s and 30’s. While the name Ukelele Ike may not seem familiar in any way I have no doubt you have heard his voice at some point. He was the voice of Jiminy Cricket in Walt Disney’s Pinocchio and is the voice of the song When You Wish Upon a Star.
This version is from one of the first musicals from MGM in the talkie era, The Hollywood Revue of 1929. You most likely know the song from the later and great musical of the same name ( which featured the recently passed Debbie Reynolds) but this is a great version. It has a forward looking outlook despite the wet and dreary circumstances of the moment. Just what people would be needing in the years after 1929.
Remember that it’s an old piece of film and try to look past the somewhat crude production values of the time. It was cutting edge back then. And it’s still a great piece of film now.
Oh, I also enclosed another Ukelele Ike number from a 1935 film, Starlit Days at the Lido. It’s an early Technicolor film so it looks worlds different than the first film. The song is Hang on to Me which is also a great song for the moment.
Enjoy! Take a look then let’s get to work and get that thing out of our bed!