Friday, January 12, 2018

Harry Warren is the forgotten man. He had more hit songs than Irving Berlin, yet everyone knows Irving, while hardly anyone knows Harry. His real name was Salvatore Guaragna (Italian). He was born and raised in a Brooklyn ghetto, not far from where Irving Berlin was raised- at the same time, turn of the century. And like Berlin, without any musical education, he decided at an early age that he was going to be a songwriter. So, he got an old rickety piano and taught himself to play; ditto Berlin. And then, he started writing songs, and, he wrote some great ones. When people listen to Etta James or Celine Dion sing At Last, they are exalted, but no credit goes to Harry Warren for writing it.

And, he wrote this gem, I Only Have Eyes For You. It didn't hurt that he had Al Dubin write the very stirring lyrics because that man was a poet. The result of their collaboration is a masterpiece. I hope Paul and I did it justice.

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