Possibly many people will have watched one or a few Disney classics over the holidays. We may know the classic films, and some may know who composed music for the more recent ones. Elton John and Tim Rice for example, co-wrote several songs for The Lion King. But what about the earlier ones?
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) for instance. Who can forget “Heigh Ho”, “Whistle While You Work”, “I’m Wishing” and the beautiful “Some Day My Prince Will Come”.
Then there is Bambi (1942). One of my favourites is “Little April Shower”
Baby Mine (Dumbo)
Love Is A Song (Bambi) is another.
Who’s Afraid Of The Big Bad Wolf (Three Little Pigs) 1933. Later used in numerous films. Played by many orchestras, especially during war-time.
These and many others were all written, or co-written by Frank Churchill.
There could have been more wonderful music from this very talented man had he not sadly died at the very young age of forty.
Churchill was found dead at his piano – having reportedly shot himself , on May 14th 1942. This was shortly before the release of Bambi.
He was inducted as a Disney Legend in 2001.
Frank Churchill on Wikipedia
Frank Churchill on IMDb
The famous “Heigh-Ho” sequence from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, animated by Shamus Culhane (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Just found this and I think it’s brilliant, could watch it over and over. So cute!
Two year old William Stokkebroe dancing to Jailhouse Rock by Elvis
My favourite song of all time is Unchained Melody by The Righteous Brothers in 1965. I think most people (at least those of a certain age) would consider this to be the best version.
Technically it’s not the Righteous Brothers singing . Just Bobby Hatfield whilst Bill Medley stands aside.
His voice was tremendous. The high notes he reaches at the end never fail to give me the shivers.
Sadly Bobby Hatfield passed away just before a concert in 2003.
I knew there were versions of this song recorded before the Righteous brothers, particularly by British DJ Jimmy Young.
I hadn’t realised though, just how many times it had been done both before and after, as singles or album tracks.
It was penned in 1955, music by Alex North and lyrics by Hy Zaret.
The music was used as a theme for a prison film called “Unchained” in that year, hence the title of the song (sung by Todd Duncan). The Righteous Brothers version was obviously used in the 1990 film “Ghost”.
It is the only song to have sold over a million by three separate acts in the UK (the Righteous Brothers, Robson & Jerome and Gareth Gates)
Sir Paul McCartney now owns the rights to the song…fancy that.
Before the Righteous Brothers:
Les Baxter 1955 (instrumental)
Jimmy Young 1955
Al Hibbler 1955
Liberace 1955 (instrumental)
To name a few..
Apparently at least 670 artistes have covered this song. Some are listed here.
Strange to think that his premiere of “The Rite Of Spring” actually caused a riot in the Paris theatre where it was being performed. Ahead of his time it seems.
One wonders what we will accept as the norm in another hundred years. What will we regard as classical music then, or at least add to what is regarded as classical?
Stravinsky on All Music
‘Music is given to us specifically to make order of things, to move from an anarchic, individualistic state to a regulated, perfectly conscious one, which alone ensures vitality and durability.’ — Igor Stravinsky
Really loving this song from Train. Even better than Drive By I think.