Stories of Standards: "On Green Dolphin Street"

Feb 28, 2017

Tune in to First Take with Lando and Chavis - weekdays from 6-9 am MT - for Stories of Standards to hear our favorite versions of this song all week long!

“On Green Dolphin Street” was the main theme of the 1947 MGM movie “Green Dolphin Street”, based on the Elizabeth Gouge’s 1944 book “Green Dolphin Country”. John Douglas Eames said of the film “It had everything, i.e. too much for a single movie: a glorious wallow in family conflict, triangle romance, Maori uprising in old New Zealand, earthquake, tidal wave, pathos and bathos.” Audiences loved it; it was the top box office draw of the year and won Academy Awards for sound and visual effects. Oddly enough, the song didn’t become a hit until Miles Davis recorded it in 1959. (?)

Bronislau Kaper (1902 - 1983) was born in Warsaw, Poland, studied at the Warsaw Conservatory of Music, and worked as a composer and conductor in Warsaw, Berlin, Vienna, London and Paris before an offer from MGM led to his emigrating to the United States in 1935. Here he worked for Hollywood and Broadway and was best known for “Someone to Care for Me” (1937), “On Green Dolphin Street” (1947) and “Hi-Lili, Hi-Lo” (1953). He was a member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association's Board of Directors for 15 years, and the Bronisław Kaper Awards For Young Artists, held annually by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and alternating between piano and strings instrumental categories, were named for him.

Ned Washington (1901-1976) started his career in vaudeville as an emcee and actors’ agent before focusing on composition. With George Bassman he wrote “I’m Getting Sentimental Over You”, which became Tommy Dorsey’s theme song in 1932. After moving to Hollywood he won two Oscars (Best Score and Best Song) with Leigh Harline for “When You Wish Upon a Star” (1940). Other collaborations produced “High Noon (Do Not Forsake Me) in 1952, the theme song from “Rawhide” and “Stella by Starlight” (1944).

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Miles Davis Quintet
Credit Stories of Standards is sponsored by ListenUp