What Makes U Smile?

What makes you smile before you even know you are smiling? It’s a nice thing to have happen. It’s nice to know that in a world where bad things happen, there exists happenings that make me smile, automatically. My lips turn up at the corners by themselves. For instance, a few days ago I got up, turned on my laptop and checked my mail.  There was a message from a friend in England. She started her message with “Hello Dearest Elva”. Since it was early morning I hadn’t had time to become grumpy so I was able to receive this greeting as I know it was meant. My friend is such a nice lady. Someone I met during my book writing journey. She is a good-hearted person. And I know she is genuine. And so it made me feel good to hear from her. It was like an “Awwww” moment. While reading the rest of her message  my lips began to smile of their own accord. She had found an article in a book that was a copy of correspondence my father, Eddie Green had, probably in 1949, with a man by the name of Joe Davis. The article stated:

Early in April, Davis heard from one of his old contacts from the 1920s, Eddie Green. Now managing Sepia Productions in Los Angeles, Green had written to offer a song: “I am sending you this record of ‘You Can Always Believe Your Heart.’ This was taken from the sound track of the picture Mr. Adam’s Bomb’ which I have just produced. This was a short subject produced by us primarily for the Colored theatres. I think I mentioned this to you when I was in New York last summer. This tune should be a great tune for the Mills Brothers or a quartette like them. I am sending it to you because I believe that you, being there in the big City, could reach them better than I can out here.”

Addressing him as Eddie, Davis wrote back immediately: “You know how it always gives me great pleasure to hear from you. As soon as I receive the record of ‘You Can Always Believe Your Heart,’ I will be only too pleased to go over it, and if you have any other songs, please send them to me, as I sure would like to publish a few things more by you.”

The thing is, I have been looking for the copyright of that song since 2014. Or a copy of the lyrics. Or something to prove that Eddie did indeed write the song. So, talk about pleased, I was so happy to see that my friend had actually found a letter from Eddie stating exactly what he did with the song he wrote for his movie! It was amazing to me. When I took my eyes off the page, I realized I had been smiling the whole time. That is such a blessing.

The song was sung in the movie by Margaret Westfield. I snapped this while watching the movie on Youtube from the Internet Archives. Unfortunately I have not been able yet to find anything on her. Though she had a lovely voice.

According to the internet “Joseph M. “Joe” Davis (October 6, 1896 – September 3, 1978[1]) was an American music producer, publisher and promoter in jazz, rhythm and blues and pop music. I might have found him had I known about him in the 70s.

I am in the process of gathering all of Eddie’s songs for possible re-release. Though it is a process. I have to verify copyright and also deal with folks who may claim copyright falsely. I don’t want Eddie’s work to stay hidden. I also want to have the paperwork for my grandson. Any money I make will be minimal-for me, it’s mainly about showcasing my father’s many talents. It’s about what I feel in my Heart. And what makes me Smile.

May you become more aware of what makes YOU smile.

Thanx so much, for stopping by. 🙂

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STAYING FOCUSED ON THE GOOD STUFF

“A Good Man Is Hard to Find”, written by Eddie Green and popularized by the singer Bessie Smith in 1927.

Hi there!  I missed out.  I wanted to watch “Bessie” with Queen Latifah on HBO, May 16th, but my landlady cancelled our cable, boo hoo.  I received a comment today about “Bessie”, so of course I had to see if I could find it on the net.  For this post, however, I decided to post a video of Bessie Smith singing the song my father wrote way back in 1917.

There were also a few other people who recorded the song, for instance:

A GOOD MAN IS HARD TO FIND
By Eddie Green
Marion Harris – 1919
Wilbur C. Sweatman’s Jazz Orchestra – 1919
Viola McCoy – 1927
Eddie Condon & His Band – 1940
Butch Stone – 1942
Frank Sinatra – 1951
George Lewis – 1953
Big Maybelle – 1956
Brenda Lee – 1959
Also recorded by: Trinity; Di Anne Price; Bix Beiderbecke; Fats Waller; Rosemary Clooney; Les Brown;
Champion Jack Dupree; Barbra Streisand; Frances Faye; Hank Thompson; Lizzie Miles; Louis Prima;
Carol Channing; Nancy Wilson; Ralph Sutton; Juanita Hall; Kid Ory; Judith Durham; Dorothy Loudon;
Bob Wills, to name a few.

I should be finished with the first draft of my book about Eddie at the beginning of June.  I have the feeling that this year will be a good time for this book to become available.  To my knowledge, Eddie’s song has been performed in two recent movies, “Bessie” and “Blue Jasmin” (a Woody Allen movie).  I love the fact that this song has endured and remained relevant all these years.  Eddie died in 1950, so he was only aware of a few of these people performing the song.   While he was alive  he knew a few of the people on the above list, like Fats Waller and Frank Sinatra.  Oh yeah, and Sophie Tucker, he knew Sophie, she used Eddie’s song as her “torch” song (if you are too young to remember Sophie Tucker, look her up, she was what they called a “real hot mama” back in the day.

My father continues to provide the inspiration that helps me stay focused on this book-writing process, as do those who read my posts and those who comment.    Eddie has shown me that there are obstacles in life, Eddie had them as a Black man living his life in the early 20th century through 1950, but he never stopped moving forward,  he went on to write 29 more songs, to perform on Broadway and radio, and even to write, produce and star in his own movies, as I have mentioned in previous posts and will elaborate on in future posts.  I am experiencing a sense of optimism through tracing Eddie’s life and I hope I am able to pass this feeling on.  Thanks so much for stopping by.

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