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Origins: Brother Can You Spare A Dime, what movie

Mark Ross 23 Aug 13 - 01:22 AM
GUEST,Gerry 23 Aug 13 - 01:44 AM
GUEST,Gerry 23 Aug 13 - 02:01 AM
GUEST 23 Aug 13 - 02:11 AM
MGM·Lion 23 Aug 13 - 02:31 AM
Jim Carroll 23 Aug 13 - 03:45 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 23 Aug 13 - 07:36 AM
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Subject: Origins: Brother Can You Spare A Dime, what movie
From: Mark Ross
Date: 23 Aug 13 - 01:22 AM

Trying to remember what Busby Berkeley movie used BROTHER CAN YOU SPARE A DIME. Any MudCatter's have a clue?

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brother Can You Spare A Dime, what movie
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 23 Aug 13 - 01:44 AM

Gold Diggers of 1933, according to http://www.filmsite.org/1933.html


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brother Can You Spare A Dime, what movie
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 23 Aug 13 - 02:01 AM

I may have to retract that. Looking around the internet, the citation in my previous message is the only one I found that links Berkeley and Brother. The movie had a song, My Forgotten Man, which people say is similar to (but not the same as) Brother. A 1975 movie called Brother Can You Spare A Dime included some clips from the 1933 movie. The soundtrack listing for the 1933 movie at imdb doesn't include Brother. So I'm not convinced any Berkeley movie used that song.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brother Can You Spare A Dime, what movie
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Aug 13 - 02:11 AM

did Harberg also write Paper Moon?


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brother Can You Spare A Dime, what movie
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 23 Aug 13 - 02:31 AM

Wikipedia states
"Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?", also sung as "Buddy, Can You Spare a Dime?", is one of the best-known American songs of the Great Depression. Written in 1930 by lyricist E. Y. "Yip" Harburg and composer Jay Gorney, "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?" was part of the 1932 musical New Americana; the melody is based on a Russian lullaby Gorney heard as a child. It became best known, however, through recordings by Bing Crosby and Rudy Vallee. Both versions were released right before Franklin Delano Roosevelt's election to the presidency and both became number one hits on the charts.

New Americana mentioned would appear to be a stage musical, not a film ~~ certainly not mentioned on any of my film guides. No mention of the song in any contemporary film, by Berkeley or otherwise.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brother Can You Spare A Dime, what movie
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Aug 13 - 03:45 AM

One of the last times I heard it sung on screen was in the 'The Singing Detective' - the BBC series with Bob Hoskins and Mel Martin - well worth seeking out for the plot and the music. not the awful Hollywood production starring the 'awfuller' Steve Martin.
There was a remarkable documentary on the Great American Depression (the earlier, not the present one) entitled 'Buddy Can You Spare A Dime' which featured many songs of the era, including the very spooky 'suicide' composition 'Let's Put Out the Lights and Go to Sleep'.
I think we still have a VHS copy if it's survived the four intervening decades
Songs like these were made to draw people's attention away from what was happening at the time, but some still have an undercurrent.
Bad time - the film 'They Shoot Horses, Don't They?' still hits the mark when they repeat it, as they often do here in Ireland - 'The shape of things...?'
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Origins: Brother Can You Spare A Dime, what movie
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 23 Aug 13 - 07:36 AM

According to the Sherrin/Brahms book Song By Song, Gorney brought the song to Harburg as a torch song along the lines of:

  I will go on crying big blue tears
  Till I know that you're true
  I will go on crying big blue tears
  Till all the seas run blue.


It was Harburg's genius to see the alternative the music told him. As Michael's quote from Wikipedia states, it first appeared in the review Americana in 1932. The two producers of the show JJ and Lee Shubert disagreed about the song (apparently not speaking to each other but passing messages to each other via a third party!). JJ didn't like it, but it went in anyway.

(Mrs.Gorny later married Yip Harburg and would afterwards say that she only ever married people who wrote Brother Can You Spare A Dime).

Mick


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