Hooray for Hollywood

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"Hooray for Hollywood" is a song first featured in the 1937 movie Hollywood Hotel, and which has since become (together with That's Entertainment and Another Op'nin', Another Show) the staple soundtrack element of any Academy Awards ceremony. It is even frequently played during non-American movie ceremonies, e.g. the French César Awards. The popularity of the song is notably due to the lyrics by Johnny Mercer, which reference the American movie industry and satirize the illusory desire of many people to become famous as actors.

Composition[edit]

The music was composed by Richard A. Whiting. In the original movie it was sung by Johnnie Davis and Frances Langford, accompanied by Benny Goodman and his orchestra.

Lyrics can be difficult to fully understand today, as they refer to people (e.g. Aimee Semple) or cultural elements (e.g. rotos) which have since been forgotten. They have evolved over the years. Notably the where any shopgirl can be a top girl, if she pleases the tired businessman vanished quite quickly — absent from the 1958 Doris Day version — replaced with and any barmaid can be a star made if she dances with or without a fan — the latter part referring to Sally Rand and her fan dance. Today the song is performed mostly as a melody.

Usage[edit]

The melody was used on the Jack Benny radio show as the final theme song. The song appears in the opening and final shot of Robert Altman's film The Long Goodbye (1973) starring Elliott Gould as Philip Marlowe.

The song is also used as the opening to Disney's Hollywood Studios' The Great Movie Ride attraction.

Jay Leno on the Tonight Show used to do take-offs of a Rodney Dangerfield schtick, telling bandleader Kevin Eubanks; "Kevin, the economy is so bad that....." After the punchline, The Tonight Show Band played a fast melody of "Hooray for Hollywood".

A cha-cha instrumental version of the song was used as bumper music for David Feeney's short-lived "Hollywood Minute" segment on the popular podcast Daves of Thunder.

A simplified score of the melody decorates the banisters in the Hollywood/Vine Red Line Station in Los Angeles leading down to the platform.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]