Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Music Moment: Crosby, Swings and Stars

Swinging on a Star was recorded in 1944 by Bing Crosby for the movie Going My Way. The story of the song's origin supposedly goes like this: song writer Jimmy Van Heusen was at Bing's house for dinner one night to discuss songs for the upcoming motion picture.

During the meal, one of the children began complaining about how he didn’t want to go to school the next day. The singer turned to his son and said to him, “If you don’t go to school, you might grow up to be a mule. Do you wanna do that?” Van Heusen thought that this clever rebuke would make a good song for the movie. He pictured Bing, playing a priest, talking to a group of children acting much the same way that his own child acted that night. When he took his idea to his partner, Johnny Burke, Johnny was quick to approve, and they wrote the song.

Child singer Lena Zavaroni sings Swinging On A Star on Junior Showtime, a British variety show for children that aired between 1969 and 1974.

Here is a short interview with Zavaroni from 1989 (she died in 1999, age 35):

Here she appears on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson at age ten singing End of the World:

Website dedicated to Lena's memory

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