Sunday, February 18, 2007


I made a small error in my Happy Birthday ASCAP blog. Although Irving Berlin was one of the principal founders of ASCAP -- it was actually this gentleman-- Mr. Victor Herbert whose idea it was to get royalties for the use of music in concert halls and performing venues. Mr. Herbert who of course wrote the amazing "Babes in Toyland"" among a thousand other compositions was having dinner with Puccini one night at a restaurant in New York City. Songwriters and composers were already receiving royalties in Europe as far back as 1910. A Victor Herbert tune playing and was recognized by both gentlemen. Puccini said to Victor Herbert "Isn't it wonderful that we can dine while we are listening to our own music and know that we are being paid for it!" Well of course, this wasn't happening in America and Victor Herbert was amazed, intrigued and wanted to know more. So it was Victor Herbert who got the ball rolling first with John Philip Sousa and then Irving Berlin climbed on board. I must also note the passing of another great songwriter on February 15Th at the age of 92. His name was Ray Evans-- and you probably don't recognize that name unless I say "Mona Lisa" "Buttons And Bows", "Silver Bells" and of course the Doris Day perennial "Que Sera Sera" (Whatever Will Be Will be) Raymond Bernard Evans was a partner in a composing and songwriting duo with Jay Livingston, known for the songs they composed for films Evans wrote the lyrics and Livingston the music for the songs Together they won Academy Awards in 1948 for the song "Buttons and Bows", written for the movie The Paleface; in 1950 for the song "Mona Lisa", written for the movie Captain Carey, U.S.A.; and in 1956 for the song "Que Sera Sera", written for the movie The Man Who Knew Too Much. Livingston and Evans also wrote popular TV themes for shows including Bonanza and Mr. Ed. Ray died at age 92 in Los Angeles on the 42ND anniversary of the death of Nat King Cole

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