Hugh Martin corrects the record

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marknyc
Leading Actor
joined:7/6/07
Leading Actor
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Hugh Martin corrects the record#1
Posted: 7/31/09 at 3:25pm
Thought this would be of interest.

Mark M.
_______________________

Michael Feinstein sent this list of corrections made by Hugh Martin after he read RALPH BLANE - OKLAHOMA'S HALL OF FAME SONGWRITER FROM THE GOLDEN AGE OF MOVIE MUSICALS by Phyllis Cole Braunlich. Hugh would appreciate getting the word out.

Dear Michael,

Here is the book about Ralph that I told you about. I tried to underline in red every statement that was untruthful and I almost ran out of ink! Since my handwriting is well-nigh illegible, I thought I would do a little appendix to make the errors more understandable. Here goes:

PAGE 4
The song referred to in the ZIEGFELD FOLLIES of 1946 was "Love." It wasn't even nominated for an Oscar much less won one. I received the first copy of the sheet music when I was in Europe in the army in 1945. I was surprised to see that the billing had been changed so that Ralph's name preceded mine. We had always been Martin & Blane; suddenly we were Blane & Martin. I wrote to Ralph for an explanation and he replied that I had had the glory for so long that perhaps I wouldn't mind if he had it for a while. I was stunned, especially since I had written the song solo with no help from Ralph.

PAGE 10
Vivian Vance was not co-starred in HOORAY FOR WHAT! She was a featured player. Hannah Williams was not reinstated. When she was fired, it was permanent. I had nothing to do with Ralph's song "How Warm It Is, The Weather." He wrote it alone.

PAGE 11
Ralph couldn't do a vocal arrangement if his life depended on it. He couldn't read music. The problem with Ralph's voice was not one of volume; he sang popular music in a legitimate, operatic style, not a "pop" style needed for radio and recordings.

PAGE 15
We did not write 24 numbers for BEST FOOT FORWARD. The total was 13 (6 by Ralph and 7 by me). The only song we ever collaborated on in the conventional manner was "Three Men On A Date" - Ralph wrote the lyric and I wrote the music.

PAGE 17
It was not Ralph who heard about the Rooney-Garland personal appearance; it was Fred K. Steele, manager of The Martins quartet.

PAGE 18
All of the vocal arrangements referred to in the 2nd paragraph were made by me. Ralph was my assistant and he helped me teach the harmonies to the various singers.

PAGE 19
Roger Edens recommended Martin, not Blane.

PAGE 20
Gloria DeHaven was not in the Broadway cast.

PAGE 21
One more untruth regarding the way Ralph and I wrote. We were never a Mr. Words and Mr. Music team.

PAGE 22
I never owned a bicycle. "Buckle down, BUCK PRIVATE" was never the nation's number one marching song. I made all of the vocal arrangements. Ralph merely helped me teach them to the singers.
The "quote" from my mother is a total fabrication.

PAGE 24
I wrote all three of the songs for MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS. Ralph's only contribution to them was a very valuable suggestion regarding "The Boy Next Door" and a minor suggestion for "The Trolley Song." He didn't write a word or a note to "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and ALL of its subsequent versions.

PAGE 26
Ralph did bring a clipping from the Beverly Hills Library. The caption under the 1904 photo of an old-fashioned trolley was "Clang, clang, clang goes the jolly little trolley." Ralph contributed nothing to this song except for one suggestion: to change the "goes" to the "went" the trolley. It was I who wrote "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," not Ralph.

PAGE 27
I wrote the line for Frank Sinatra, "Hang a shining star upon the highest bough." Ralph suggested that I incorporate the addresses of the young lovers, but I wrote the lyrics, not Ralph.

PAGE 28
The song "The Joint is Really Jumping Down at Carnegie Hall" was written totally by Roger Edens. He included Ralph and me in the credits because he felt he stole the rhythm from a section of "The Three B's." The latter of course was written by me.
The words "his song" should read "Hugh's song." "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" certainly was not a Ralph Blane classic!

PAGE 30
This is one of the more bizarre lies Ralph tells. Meredith Willson asked me to write a song about "Connecticut" which I did, words and music. Ralph sang it for Meredith.

PAGE 31
I went into the Army 30 June 1944, not in November. "Brazilian Boogie" and "What Do You Think I Am?" Words and music were written by me.

PAGE 32
The song "Love" was written by me. As was "The Trolley Song."

PAGE 36
The exact title was EIGHT COUSINS.

PAGE 38
I was never jealous of Ralph except for two things: "Buckle Down Winsocki" and his glorious voice.

PAGE 40
Once again, Ralph is incapable of making vocal arrangements.

PAGE 44
This story is obviously apocryphal because Ralph didn't write "The Boy Next Door."

PAGE 45
This is the one that made me laugh the most. Arthur Freed never originated the idea of "Pass That Peace Pipe." Nobody ever suggested "Chug Chug-A-Chug; Chug Chug-A-Chug!" Here is how "Pass That Peace Pipe" evolved: Roger Edens went to the library and made a list of Indian tribes that started with "Ch." He also wrote 8 bars of music that he thought might be appropriate. I went home that night and wrote "Pass That Peace Pipe," using Roger's 8 bars of melody and all of the Indian tribes that he listed. The song got an Oscar nomination in 1947.

PAGE 47
Correct spelling: Dick Haymes.

PAGE 54
I never tried to change the title of MAKE A WISH.

PAGE 56
These two songs were not Martin-Blane songs. I wrote them alone.
I was not musical director of THE GIRL RUSH and "Birmin'ham" was not one of my favorite songs.

PAGE 58
The song "Crazy Horse" appeared in THE GIRL MOST LIKELY, not THE GIRL RUSH.

PAGE 59
It was not Jerome Robbins who suggested us for PETER PAN: it was Edwin Lester of the San Francisco Light Opera. I wrote "An Occasional Man" alone.

His name is Conrad Twitty.

The title song "The Girl Most Likely" was written by Nelson Riddle and another man.

PAGE 60
Obviously Ralph and I didn't collaborate, so "Martin and Blane music" is misleading.

PAGE 65
Liza Minnelli played the same part Nancy Walker played in the original show not June Allyson. "You're Lucky" was written for the original show, not for Liza.

PAGE 69
Ralph contributed nothing for TATTERED TOM. I wrote the whole darn score, words and music, except for the lyric of title song, which was written by the book writer Timothy Gray.

PAGE 72
"How Lovely It Is, the Weather" never made the charts in 1939 or any other year.

PAGE 77
I was not the music director of SUGAR BABIES and Eddie Bracken wasn't in it.


PAGE 85
I wrote the 10 new songs alone.

PAGE 91
Ralph contributed nothing to CABIN IN THE SKY.

PAGE 93
Ralph couldn't read music, much less orchestrate.

PAGE 99
I wrote the words and music for all the songs in ATHENA.

Seventh paragraph - I wrote all of these too!

I wrote "Connecticut."

HUGH MARTIN



Updated On: 7/31/09 at 03:25 PM
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Mister Matt
Broadway Legend
joined:5/17/03
Broadway Legend
joined:
5/17/03
re: Hugh Martin corrects the record#2
Posted: 7/31/09 at 3:39pm
Holy cow! HA! I love the "Pass the Peace Pipe" anecdote.
"What can you expect from a bunch of seitan worshippers?" - Reginald Tresilian
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uncageg
Broadway Legend
joined:5/13/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
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re: Hugh Martin corrects the record#2
Posted: 7/31/09 at 3:56pm
Looks like someone didn't do their research. Wow.
Just give the world Love.
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best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
Broadway Legend
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re: Hugh Martin corrects the record#3
Posted: 7/31/09 at 5:43pm
Hugh Martin's correction most likely needs correcting ...

PAGE 59

He either means "Conway Twitty" or "Conrad Birdie." Probably not "Conrad Twitty."
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3, Hamilton22
marknyc Profile Photomarknyc Profile Photo
marknyc
Leading Actor
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Leading Actor
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re: Hugh Martin corrects the record#4
Posted: 8/1/09 at 2:41pm
He did slip up there, but most of his corrections sound right to me.