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In Tune -- by Bill Fuller
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Top Movie Songs                                               October 2009

You may have noticed that I frequently include Hollywood film citations in the
anecdotal information I dig up about various tunes. A few years back the
Cleveland Plain Dealer published in their June 23, 2004 issue (section ‘A,’ p.-3) an
article headlined “Top 100 Songs from U.S. Films.”   Referring back to that article
and those 100 tunes, there are not very many on the list that have been given
extensive jazz treatment – especially traditional jazz; but, there are a few, and here
they are with their all-time rankings according to the P.D.:

OVER THE RAINBOW- [ranked #1 all-time] written for the 1939 movie “The
Wizard  of Oz” by Harold Arlen with Skip Harburg. It won the Academy Award
for best song in 1940, and was #1 on the “Billboard” charts. It was variously
recorded in 1939 by Glenn Miller, Bob Crosby, Judy Garland, and Larry Clinton.

CHEEK TO CHEEK – [ranked #15 all-time] written by Irving Berlin for the film
“Top
Hat” in 1935. It was variously recorded over the years by such artists as: Louis
Armstrong, Count Basie, Bob Crosby, Tommy Dorsey, Billie Holiday, Peggy Lee,
Pete Fountain and many others.

STORMY WEATHER-[ranked #30 all-time] another Harold Arlen tune done in
1933
with Ted Koehler for the film of the same name. It reached #1 on the “Billboard”
charts in 1933 and was recorded in that year by Ethel Waters, Ted Lewis, Guy
Lombardo and Duke Ellington.

I GOT RHYTHM – [ranked #32 all-time] written in 1930 by George Gershwin and
introduced in the musical “Girl Crazy” by Ethel Merman. It was revived for the
1951 movie starring Gene Kelly, “An American in Paris.”

IT HAD TO BE YOU – [ranked #60 all-time] written in 1924 by Isham Jones and
intro-
duced by his orchestra. It was popularized by Cliff Edwards (“Ukelele Ike”). It
was later recorded by both Paul Whiteman and Artie Shaw. It appeared in the
1951 movie “I’ll See You in my Dreams,” with Danny Thomas and the 1989 movie
“When Harry Met Sally,” with Billy Crystal.

PUTTIN’ ON THE RITZ- [ranked #89 all-time] written in 1930 by Irving Berlin, it
was
used in the 1974 comedy “Young Frankenstein.”
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