Mt. Carmel St. Cristina Society

Harry Warren

Did you know...

About Harry Warren?? You may not realize that the tunes you sing in the shower are from a great Italian-American composer, Harry Warren. But the name doesn't sound Italian because, like many Italian immigrants during the 1800's, they changed their name to American because of the prejudice they experienced.

So Harry Warren was born Salvatore Guaragna in Brooklyn in 1893. From 1932 to 1957 Harry Warren produced over 250 songs for motion pictures and musicals, which were then in their golden age. One of his earliest successes was his music from the film, "42nd Street" in 1932, from there was only up, up, and up. With "Gold Diggers" in 1933, the melodic mind of Warren gave us, "We are in the money," a song whose hopeful lyric and catchy tune helped ease the pain of the Great Depression. With its sequal, "Gold Diggers" in 1935, Warren earned an Oscar and gave us "Lullaby of Broadway" and they just kept coming - "Jeepers Creepers," "You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby," and "I Only Have Eyes for You." Warren and his partners wrote for all the major Hollywood studios and worked with all the best stars: Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers sing and dance to his music, as did Judy Garland, Betty Grable, and Doris Day. Even Carmen Miranda shook her fruit basket to the best of Warren's music.

He got together with "Big Band" leader Glenn Miller and produced landmarks for both their careers with "Chattanooga Choo Choo" and "Serenade in Blue" and we as proud Italians can especially enjoy "That's Amore," a song from the Jerry Lewis - Dean Martin film "The Caddy" in 1953. Martin's vocal rendition made it the love song of the fifties and introduced Americans to a whole range of Italianized expressions like "signore," "pasta Fazool," "vita bella," and "scusa-mi." The song was reintroduced and remodernized when it was used as part of the sound track to the film "Moonstruck" in 1987.

So why doesn't anyone know who Harry Warren was? Because he preferred to stay out of the lime light, letting his music speak for itself. Warren died in 1981. Only a few remember his name, but he gave the world songs that will be sung and remembered for a long time!!!!