Thursday, November 21, 2019


Filmed in Hollywood from May to August of 1944, it was the first and only time that Bing was paired with musical dynamite Betty Hutton. It was an odd pairing since Bing was so laid back, and Hutton was a nervous ball of energy. Hutton at the time was the musical queen at Paramount Studios so it would be natural to pair them together. Bing by this time had approval of his leading ladies, but I had the opportunity to interview actress Marjorie Reynolds’ daughter Linda in the mid 1990s, and she says that Bing had wanted Marjorie for the role of the twins, but the studio insisted on Hutton. Suprisingly Bing and Betty had a good bit of chemistry in the movie. However, Betty Hutton was one of those stars that had good things to say about Bing in the 1970s, but as the years went by she changed her mind. It was also reported that Bing dated Hutton in the 1950s after Dixie Lee died, but I find that hard to believe with all the personal problems that Betty Hutton had.

Like so many musicals of the time, the music makes the movie. Johnny Burke and Jimmy Van Heusen usually wrote the songs for Bing’s movies, and they won an Oscar for their song “Swingin On A Star” for Bing’s last movie Going My Way. However, for Here Comes The Waves, Johnny Mercer and Harold Arlen were brought in to write the score. The song “That Old Black Magic” was featured in the movie, but Mercer and Arlen had written the song in 1942. The song was first recorded by Glenn Miller & His Orchestra, and Mercer wrote the lyrics with Judy Garland in mind. Bing sings the song and makes it his own as he croons in a style of a young Frank Sinatra. I do not understand why Bing did not record this song in 1944, because it was the musical highlight for me in the film, but he did record it late in his career in 1976.

There are also two really underrated love songs in the movie that Bing sang with Betty Hutton, but he recorded them as solos for Decca-“Let’s Take The Long Way Home” and “I Promise You”. Probably the most notable song in the film was “Accentuate The Positive”. In the film Bing and Sonny Tufts sings the song in a blackface number (this would be the last movie in which Bing would appear in blackface), but Bing recorded the number commercially with the Andrews Sisters. The song would be nominated for Best Song in 1945, but lost to the ballad “It Might As Well Be Spring” from State Fair. Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer also wrote a song that was not used for the film called “My Mama Thinks I’m A Star”. I have never heard the song, but I am guessing it was written for Betty Hutton....


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