Saturday, December 05, 2009

Trouble With Hitchcock

For years I've asserted that Six Degrees Of Separation can be reduced to two or three if Raymond Scott is in the equation. Case in point: Alfred Hitchcock's 1955 feature, THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY. This morbid comedy/murder mystery connects Scott to numerous Hollywood heavies including Shirley MacLaine (in her debut role), John Forsythe, legendary Academy Award-winning soundtrack composer Bernard Herrmann, and even a young Jerry Mathers (later a TV icon in the title role on LEAVE IT TO BEAVER).

Scott's song "Flaggin' The Train To Tuscaloosa" is sung by Forsythe's character, Sam Marlowe, early in the movie. According to an April 1955 Daily Variety news item, Scott originally composed the tune as a commercial jingle for the YOUR HIT PARADE television series (on which he conducted the orchestra during the decade). Variety noted that the melody had different lyrics for the commercial, with new words penned by accomplished songsmith Mack David for the Hitchcock film. (Mack is the brother of Hal David, who co-wrote with Burt Bacharach — another legend three degrees from Scott.)
ABOVE: from the opening credits
BELOW: Shirley MacLaine & John Forsythe are pictured on the cover of the piano sheet music

1 comment:

  1. I'm looking for the lyrics of this song. Any hint's where I can find them?

    Many thanks, Tom