OPENING DOORSThe song Buddy DeSylva chose instead of an early lunch was called A SQUARE IN THE SOCIAL CIRCLE. It ended up being sung by Betty Hutton in "The Stork Club" and she also recorded it. A few weeks later, Louis Lipstone called them into his office and asked if they would like to work at Paramount, writing songs on assignment for the musical short subjects. He said he could only afford to pay them $200 a week, but that, if they did well, maybe they could improve upon that. Jay and Ray had never seen $200 at one time, but they played it cool, saying that would be O.K. On their way out, Jay turned to Ray and asked, "Is that $200 a peice or $200 for both of us?" Ray said, "I was afraid to ask." When they got their first checks, they each held $200, which felt like a million to two young songwriters in 1945.
During their first six months on the job, they wrote songs for all the musical shorts and were assigned to write three songs for a Bob Hope picture: "Monsieur Beaucaire."
This started a long relationship with Hope. Over the years they wrote songs on assignment for twelve Bob Hope pictures, and a wealth of special material for his stage act and TV shows.
During this time, a song called THE CAT AND THE CANARY (written for a film entitled "Why Girls Leave Home") was nominated for an Oscar for Best Song.
Also during this intial six month period, a picture came along entitled "To Each His Own" (from a John Donne poem by the same name). The studio hated the title, but the producer, Charles Brackett, insisted on it. Victor Young, who wrote the background score, was asked to write a title song to help sell the picture, but he refused, saying the title was a dumb idea based upon a phrase which was unknown at the time. Enter Livingston & Evans. As they say in their And-Then-I-Wrote act, "We were so eager that we would have written COME TO US JESUS IN E-FLAT if they had asked us to."
Considering this assignment another golden opportunity, they did their very best and came up with a song that ended up being the #1 Song of the Year. At one point, for three solid weeks, five of the records on the Billboard Magazine Top Ten Record Sellers were cover versions of TO EACH HIS OWN, by Eddy Howard, Tony Martin, Freddy Martin, The Ink Spots, and the Modernaires.
Raymond Bernard Evans
February 4, 1915
Salamanca, NY, USA
February 15, 2007
Los Angeles, CA, USA
Wyn Ritchie Evans
|1 2 3 4 5 6|