Happy Days Are Here Again

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"Happy Days Are Here Again" is a song copyrighted in 1929 by Milton Ager (music) and Jack Yellen (lyrics) and published by EMI Robbins Catalog, Inc./Advanced Music Corp.[1] The song was recorded by Leo Reisman and His Orchestra, with Lou Levin, vocal (November 1929),[citation needed] and was featured in the 1930 film Chasing Rainbows.[2] The song concluded the picture, in what film historian Edwin Bradley described as a "pull-out-all-the-stops Technicolor finale, against a Great War Armistice show-within-a-show backdrop."[3] This early example of 2-strip Technicolor footage was, along with another Technicolor sequence, later cut from the 1931 re-edited release of the otherwise black-and-white film, and is believed to have been lost in the 1967 MGM Vault 7 fire.[4][5]

In popular culture[edit]

Today, the song is probably best remembered as the campaign song for Franklin Delano Roosevelt's successful 1932 presidential campaign. According to TIME magazine, it gained prominence after a spontaneous decision by Roosevelt's advisers to play it at the 1932 Democratic National Convention, and went on to become the Democratic Party's "unofficial theme song for years to come".[6] The song is also associated[citation needed] with the Repeal of Prohibition, which occurred shortly after Roosevelt's election.

Matthew Greenwald described the song as "[a] true saloon standard, [and] a Tin Pan Alley standard, and had been sung by virtually every interpreter since the 1940s. In a way, it's the pop version of Auld Lang Syne."[7]

The song is #47 on the Recording Industry Association of America's list of "Songs of the Century".

As of 2006, 76 commercially released albums include versions of the song.[8]

Films in which the song appears[edit]

  • Chasing Rainbows (1930)
  • The Divorcee (1930)
  • The Lady of Scandal (1930)
  • Rain or Shine (1930)
  • Sky Scraping (1930)
  • Paid (1930)
  • Blonde Crazy (1931)
  • City Streets (1931)
  • Politics (1931)
  • George White's Flying High (1931)
  • The Christmas Party (1931)
  • A Great Big Bunch of You (1932)
  • The Musical Doctor (1932)
  • Panama Flo (1932)
  • Night Court (1932)
  • When a Fellow Needs a Friend (1932)
  • What Price Hollywood? (1932)
  • Stopping the Show (1932)
  • Three on a Match (1932)
  • Seeing Stars (1932)
  • Prosperity Blues (1932)
  • Prosperity (1932)
  • 20,000 Years in Sing Sing (1932)
  • Grand Slam (1933)
  • Inflation (1933)
  • Going Hollywood (1933)
  • The Show-Off (1934)
  • Twentieth Century (1934)
  • Here Comes the Band (1935)
  • Thanks a Million (1935)
  • Petticoat Fever (1936)
  • Ali Baba Goes to Town (1937)
  • Broadway Melody of 1938 (1937)
  • The Candid Camera Story (Very Candid) of the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures 1937 Convention (1937)
  • Git Along Little Dogies (1937)
  • Hit Parade of 1937 (1937)
  • Married Before Breakfast (1937)
  • Captain's Pup, The (1938)
  • Hold That Co-ed (1938)
  • The Wrong Way Out (1938)
  • The Ice Follies of 1939 (1939)
  • Bachelor Mother (1939)
  • Another Thin Man (1939)
  • Kitty Foyle: The Natural History of a Woman (1940)
  • Unexpected Uncle (1941)
  • The Feminine Touch (1941)
  • Mokey (1942)
  • Maisie Gets Her Man (1942)
  • One Ham's Family (1943)
  • The Lonesome Mouse (1943)
  • Happy-Go-Nutty (1944)
  • The Million Dollar Cat (1944)
  • The Return of Mr. Hook (1945)
  • Tokyo Woes (1945)
  • Uncle Tom's Cabaña (1947)
  • The Truce Hurts (1948)
  • Hoaxters, The (1952)
  • Heir Bear (1953)
  • 1955 Motion Picture Theatre Celebration (1955)
  • 90 Day Wondering (1956)
  • Beau James (1957)
  • The Night of the Iguana (1964)
  • How to Murder Your Wife (1965)
  • Arturo UI (1972)
  • Dillinger (1973)
  • Slither (1973)
  • The Great Gatsby (1974)
  • Heb medelij, Jet! (1975)
  • Goliath Awaits (1981)
  • Vultures (1983)
  • Otto - Der Neue Film (1987)
  • Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken (1991)
  • The Distinguished Gentleman (1992)
  • For Love or Money (1993)
  • Dolores Claiborne (1995)
  • Nixon (1995)
  • Primary Colors (1998)
  • Mother (1999)
  • 28 Days (2000)
  • Cats & Dogs (2001)
  • Cinderella Man (2005)
  • Idlewild (2006)
  • Zwartboek (2006)

Barbra Streisand version[edit]

"Happy Days Are Here Again"
Single by Barbra Streisand
from the album The Barbra Streisand Album
B-side When the Sun Comes Out
Released November 1962
Format Vinyl single
Recorded 1962
Genre Pop
Label Columbia
Writer(s) Milton Ager (music) and Jack Yellen (lyrics)
Barbra Streisand singles chronology
"Miss Marmelstein" "Happy Days Are Here Again" / "When the Sun Comes Out" "My Coloring Book" / "Lover, Come Back To Me"
"Happy Days Are Here Again / My Coloring Book"
Single by Barbra Streisand
from the album The Barbra Streisand Album
Released March 1965
Format Vinyl single
Recorded 1962
Genre Pop
Writer(s) Milton Ager (music) and Jack Yellen (lyrics)
Barbra Streisand singles chronology
"Why Did I Choose You?" "Happy Days Are Here Again" / "My Coloring Book" "My Man

One of the most influential recordings of the song was Barbra Streisand's, made 33 years after its first recording. While the song is traditionally sung at a brisk pace, her recording is notable for how slowly and expressively she sings it.

On The Garry Moore Show, Streisand sang the song during the "That Wonderful Year" skit representing 1929. She performed it ironically as a millionaire who has just lost all of her money and enters a bar, giving the bartender her expensive jewelry in exchange for drinks.

Streisand first recorded the song in October 1962 at Columbia's NYC studio, some months before her first album sessions. This version, arranged and conducted by George Williams became Streisand's first commercial single in November 1962, with "When the Sun Comes Out" as a B-side. Only 500 copies of this single were pressed for the New York market, and no copies were sent to radio stations. This 1962 version was re-released as a single in March 1965 as part of the "Hall of Fame" series with the 1962 recording of "My Coloring Book".

Streisand re-recorded the song in January 1963 for her solo album debut "The Barbra Streisand Album".

Streisand sang this song on The Judy Garland Show, in a medley with Garland's "Get Happy". This live performance was included on the 2002 Streisand compilation album "Duets".

In June 1967, Streisand performed the song for over 135,000 people at Central Park. A recording of this performance was included on the live album "A Happening in Central Park", and later appeared on the Streisand compilations "Barbra Streisand's Greatest Hits" and "The Essential Barbra Streisand".

Streisand included live versions of the song on the following live albums "Live Concert at the Forum" (1972), "One Voice" (1987), "Barbra: The Concert" (1994) "Timeless: Live in Concert" (2000) and "Streisand: Live in Concert 2006" (2007).

Official Streisand versions[edit]

  • "Happy Days Are Here Again" (1962 Version)
  • "Happy Days Are Here Again" (1963 Version) (Album Version)
  • "Happy Days Are Here Again" (live from "A Happening In Central Park")
  • "Sing / Happy Days Are Here Again" (live from "Live Concert at the Forum") - 4:25
  • "Happy Days Are Here Again" (live from "One Voice")
  • "Happy Days Are Here Again" (live from "Barbra: The Concert")
  • "Happy Days Are Here Again" (live from "Timeless: Live in Concert")
  • "Happy Days Are Here Again" (live from "Streisand: Live in Concert 2006")

Other versions[edit]

Television and nightclub comedian Rip Taylor has used "Happy Days Are Here Again" for years as his theme song. He always makes his entrance, with bag of confetti in hand, to the strains of his song.

Also the song was used to open Washington D.C. comedian Mark Russell's weekly PBS-tv shows ['70s - '90s] that featured topical political humor.

The television show M*A*S*H used a version of the song on multiple episodes early in the series.

Beauty pageant contestant Vanessa L. Williams performed the song during the talent competition of the Miss America 1984 pageant. Williams went on to win both a preliminary talent award and the pageant itself.[9]

In 1930 the Comedian Harmonists recorded their popular German adaptation, Wochenend und Sonnenschein (Weekend and Sunshine, German lyrics by Charles Amberg).

It was used by the Blue Devils Drum and Bugle Corps of Concord, CA to open their 1988 Program and was used again in 2009 as part of their program entitled "1930".

The medley version with Judy Garland's "Get Happy" (as originally performed in duo by Barbra Streisand and Judy Garland in 1963), was used 2010 in episode "Duets" of TV show Glee, performed by actors Lea Michele and Chris Colfer as their characters Rachel Berry and Kurt Hummel respectively.[10]

A harmonica rendition was played early in the Christmas-themed pilot episode of The Waltons, entitled "The Homecoming", by one of the Walton children until John Boy requested something more Christmas-y.

In July 2013, a rock and roll version of the song was used by Fox in a commercial ad campaign to introduce a new sports channel called Fox Sports 1.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jack Yellen’s song catalog at Songwriters Hall of Fame
  2. ^ New York Times film review
  3. ^ p. 213, Bradley, Edwin M. (July 1996). The First Hollywood Musicals: A Critical Filmography of 171 Features, 1927-1932. McFarland & Company. ISBN 978-0-89950-945-7. 
  4. ^ "Chasing Rainbows (1930) - Trivia". IMDb. Retrieved August 28, 2011. 
  5. ^ Chasing Rainbows (article about the 1930 film)
  6. ^ Claire Suddath:[1]
  7. ^ Greenwald, Matthew. "Happy Days Are Here Again". All Media Guide, LLC. Retrieved October 26, 2006. 
  8. ^ "Song Search Results: "Happy Days Are Here Again"". All Media Guide, LLC. Retrieved November 11, 2006. [dead link]
  9. ^ She's Black and Miss America, but Vanessa Williams Is Most of All Her Own Woman (Oct. 3, 1983) - People.com
  10. ^ http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/showtracker/2010/10/glee-recap-dueting-for-breadsticks.html
  11. ^ http://msn.foxsports.com/video?vid=dc3ed1be-0de5-47e6-890c-495a81f934eb

External links[edit]