Thursday, March 5, 2015

March Full Moon - Moonlight (1921)

Con Conrad published his first song in 1912 and produced the Broadway show Honeymoon Express starring Al Jolson the very next year. His meteoric rise turned into something more like a comet, because he wouldn't see much success until 1920 and then three years later he turned his attention mainly toward composing for the Broadway stage. It is this phase of Conrad's career that brings us Moonlight, the title tune of a Broadway show starring Maxine Brown, Glen Dale, Ernest Glendinning, Allyn King, Robinson Newbold, and Helen O'Shea. Never heard of any of them? Well, that's probably not suprising since the show ran for less than a year and had only 174 performances. Glendinning turned out to be the most prolific of the cast, appearing in 36 other productions and even the 1922 Marion Davies talkie When Knighthood was in Flower.

The number is a plucky foxtrot, a tempo that wouldn't be recognized by modern ballroom denizens who tend to have a narrow interpretation of what that term means. Still it conjurs the goofball antics of 20's musical theater and makes me think of Bertie Wooster and his Drones Club pals hanging around the stage door in their tuxes and top hats.

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