Friday, July 22, 2011

I Love You Sweetheart

        In 1909, 102 years ago, composer Leo Friedman and lyricist Beth Slater Whitson, wrote a song called "Meet Me Tonight in Dreamland". They sold it to the biggest music publisher in Chicago, Will Rossiter, who bought it outright for a rumored $50.00. The song swept the country and the sale of the sheet music made the publisher a wealthy man. Although there was no contractual arrangement to pay royalties, it was customary for a publisher who made huge profits on a song to share at least some portion with the writers. Rossiter refused to do so. Understandably unhappy with him, Friedman and Whitson wrote another song in 1911, which they took to another publisher who promised to pay royalties to them depending on sales. That song, "Let Me Call You Sweetheart", actually became the best selling song of all time over the past 100 years. Sales of the sheet music alone, millions upon millions of copies and still in demand, as well as recordings by orchestras and singers, made the writers and the publisher independently wealthy.

        Here we are, in 2011, 100 years later, and both those songs are still popular. What's the secret of such success? In my view, it's simple words coupled with an easily sung tune expressing a heartfelt emotion that any of us can relate to. So, sing along with me.............

Meet Me Tonight In Dreamland              Let me call you sweetheart
Under the silvery moon,                          I'm in love with you.
Meet me tonight in Dreamland                 Let me hear you whisper
Where love's sweet roses bloom.              That you love me, too.
Come with the lovelight gleaming             Keep the lovelight gleaming
In your dear eyes, so true;                        In your eyes so true.
Meet me in dreamland,                             Let me call you sweetheart,
Sweet dreamy dreamland,                         I'm in love with you.
There let my dreams come true.

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