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Life Arts    H4'ed 2/20/11

THE UNUSUAL STORY OF A GREAT HIT SONG OF THE 60'S

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THE UNUSUAL STORY OF A GREAT HIT SONG

                         OF THE 60'S

 

The usual reasons for writing songs (including those  which turned out to be "hits") was the need to have music for particular scenes or routines in Broadway shows, movies or revues.   Occasionally, however, there were instances where songs came to be under strange, if not bizarre circumstances.

 

This is the story of a song with an amazing origin -- and an incident relating to it which surely deserves to be categorized as a synchronicity.*

 

In February of 1957, a Youngstown, Ohio housewife named Sadie Vimmerstedt (who had been a staunch fan of Frank Sinatra) was so affected by her own personal outrage about "what he had done to Nancy," scribbled a note on a piece of lined kitchen calendar paper and sent it to Johnny Mercer, the great lyricist. The following is the substance of what she wrote:

 

"Dear Johnny Mercer, I want you to write a song called "I WANT TO BE AROUND TO PICK UP THE PIECES WHEN SOMEBODY BREAKS YOUR HEART!' Then, Frankie boy will be sorry for what he did to poor Nancy!"

 

In February of 1959, Sadie received a letter from Johnnie Mercer in which he said approximately the following:

  

 

"Dear Sadie:

 

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I have spent a long and interesting life involved in music, as a performer (piano,) educator (at every level from elementary to graduate school,) solo pianist, bandleader, composer/songwriter; entertainer, storyteller and humorist. In my final (more...)
 
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