Songs of the Day #295 to #301
Songs of a Lifetime: I Love You the Same Old Way (a sweet music-box waltz), All for You (with wonderful modulations), Please Don't Make Me Cry (too late... it does it to me every time I hear it), the lovely Donít Play Around With My Heart and Trade Winds, the ever-charming Foxtrot and Melody III (full audio clips at each link) are only seven of the many terrific compositions of Robert "Bobby" Kuttner, who celebrates his 90th birthday today. Ironically, I was first sent these melodic midi files back in February 2005 as a birthday present from my pal, Eric Kuttner (Bobby's son). It was a heart-warming gift that I've wanted to share with the rest of the world, so I'm glad to be able to do so today. Bobby Kuttner was once called a "natural" by songwriter Al Dubin and it's easy to understand why. He grew up in New York, and sold papers on the subway as a kid just to help support his family. Back in the 1930s, his own orchestra played on cruise ships going to South America and Cuba. He got to know Vernon Duke, Peter DeRose, and Jimmy Van Heusen before going on tour with the USO during World War II. During the war, he was stationed with the 3rd Air Force Band at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, playing clarinet and sax. Kuttner gave up composing thereafter, and stored this material in a suitcase in a closet for years. Then, in 2003, his son had the music transcribed (the seven sample tracks featured here were transcribed by musical theatre composer John Clifton and orchestrated by Clifton and Eric). And some of these songs have wonderful lyrics too. So, Happy Birthday, Bobby Kuttner. And thank you for your gift of music.