Monday, March 19, 2012

The big tearjerker of 1938

If you're my age, you remember Bob Hope as the funny older guy who entertained the troops in 'Nam and had a Christmas special on TV every year.

You remember him for old "Road" movies on the television -- in the afternoon, late at night or on weekends. You remember the friendly rivalry with old pal Bing Crosby.

If you're a generation older, you remember the movies at the Bijou, the Paramount or the Orpheum, Hope entertaining the troops during World War II and "Bye bye and buy bonds." You remember the radio and TV shows, and Bob Hope: Biggest Thing Ever.

All of us remember "Thanks for the Memories," Hope's theme song with lyrics written for the particular occasion. But do you remember "Thanks for the Memory," the duet with Shirley Ross in The Big Broadcast of 1938 that made Hope the star he was to be?

. . . thanks for the memory
Of lingerie with lace, Pilsner by the case
And how I jumped the day you trumped my one-and-only ace
How lovely it was!

We said goodbye with a highball
Then I got as "high" as a steeple
But we were intelligent people
No tears, no fuss, Hooray! For us

So, thanks for the memory
And strictly entre-nous, darling how are you?
And how are all the little dreams that never did come true?
Aw'flly glad I met you, cheerio, and toodle-oo
And thank you so much.
IT'S A PIECE about divorce . . . and about love, wistful memories and loss. As the story goes -- at least as handed down in Hollywood through the years -- by the time filming of the scene with Ross and Hope (and the song) was done, the production crew was in tears.

"Thanks for the Memory" won the 1938 Academy Award for best song in a motion picture. There was a reason for that.

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