Posted Bykurt on March 17, 2003 at 19:35:42:
In Reply to: Re: The opening theme -- is it "Yankee Doodle Dandy"?? posted byGerry O. on March 17, 2003 at 18:46:32:
The Lucky Strike introductory theme had everything to do with wartime when it used the opening strains of "Yankee Doodle Dandy." And unlike Lucky Strike green, which went to war and never came back, the theme song remained. Introductory themes were an important hook in radio, and if they worked, they stayed.
The opening theme would have had the full approval of George Washington Hill, the legendary micromanaging president of the American Tobacco Company.
Benny was never actually considered for the part of George M. Cohan, but he DID tell that joke.
: The Benny radio theme is actually a combination of "Yankee Doodle Dandy" and "Love In Bloom".
: I've often wondered why "Yankee Doodle Dandy" was used as part of the theme at all. It's a song that really wasn't associated with Jack (like "Love In Bloom" was).
: The only thing that I can think of is that playing "Yankee Doodle Dandy" may have been some sort of joke referencing Jack's movie career.
: Jack once said on a TV talk show that Warner Bros. had seriously considered starring him as George M. Cohan in the studio's film bio. Jack was honored and thrilled to be considered to play the show business legend. However, at the last minute Warner Bros. chose James Cagney to play the part.
: According to Jack, he was crushed at this blow...and when he asked Jack Warner why the studio chose Cagney instead of him, Warner told him, "Jack, you just wouldn't have been right for the part of a feisty Irishman. Now if we were making the part of George M. COHEN, that would have been different!".
: Jack thought that this was a very funny story and loved to tell it...but I wonder if that whole situation could have inspired the theme song use. (Perhaps there was some preliminary publicity about Jack playing Cohan, only to have the rug pulled out from under him, which would have left Jack with egg on his face....and that WOULD have been great material for the radio program!).
: Just a thought....