Livingston & Evans: The Last Of The Great Songwriters From The Golden-Age Of Hollywood
1958 was not only a good year for automobiles, it was a good year for Livingston & Evans.
In all, Livingston & Evans wrote songs for eight feature films in 1958. The first was the theme song for a Universal International film titled ONCE UPON A HORSE starring Dan Rowan and Dick Martin. An oddball Western spoof co-starring; Martha Hyer, Leif Erickson, Bob Steele, & Kermit Maynard. “Once Upon A Horse” is published by Jay Livingston Music, Inc.
Next up saw Paramount Pictures coming to Livingston & Evans to write a Theme song for the film ANOTHER TIME, ANOTHER PLACE starring Lana Turner, Barry Sullivan, Glynis Johns, and Sean Connery. Lana Turner suffers a nervous breakdown when her lover is killed during WW2. Patti Page recorded a beautiful version of this song. This song is published by Famous Music Sony ATV.
Patti Page/Another Time, Another Place
Next was an MGM film titled SADDLE THE WIND. Livingston & Evans wrote this Theme song and the co-star of the film Julie London performed it. This was a well- written and well-acted Western of turned-good rancher Robert Taylor fated to shoot it out with brother John Cassavetes. Rod Serling wrote this script. “Saddle The Wind” is published by EMI Publishing Co.
Julie London/Saddle The Wind
Universal International once again came back to their successful 1957 collaboration between Debbie Reynolds and Livingston & Evans, this time with a request for a title theme for the Blake Edwards directed film THIS HAPPY FEELING. Ms Reynolds is enthralled by actor Curt Jurgens, but sparked by suitor John Saxon. Also starring in the film is Alexis Smith, Estelle Winwood, and Mary Astor. “This Happy Feeling” is published by Jay Livingston Music, Inc.
Debbie Reynolds/This Happy Feeling
Because of the huge success Livingston & Evans brought to Debbie Reynolds and to Universal International via “Tammy” in 1957, Universal International came back to Livingston & Evans once again, this time for a film titled RAW WIND IN EDEN starring Ester Williams and Jeff Chandler. Plane carrying a rich couple on way to yachting party crashes on an isolated island. Film is mixed with romance and jealousy. “Raw Wind In Eden” is a sexy instrumental piece published by Jay Livingston Music, Inc. and recorded by Bill Snyder on Decca Records.
To complete 1958 on behalf of Universal International and Livingston & Evans, a film centered around the music business titled THE BIG BEAT was up next. Livingston & Evans wrote two songs for the film, “I Waited So Long” and “As I Love You”. Over the years, numerous artists have recorded “As I Love You”, including Dame Shirley Bassey who took this song to the Top of the UK charts. This film also starred; Rose Marie, Hans Conried, The Del Vikings, Fats Domino, The Diamonds, The Four Aces, Harry James, and The Mills Brothers. Both “I Waited So Long” and “As I Love You” are published by Jay Livingston Music, Inc.
Nat ‘King’ Cole/I Waited So Long
Shirley Bassey/As I Love You
After the tremendous success Alfred Hitchcock experienced with Livingston & Evans winning an Academy Award for “Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)” from his film THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH in 1956, Livingston & Evans were invited to write a title song to help promote the Paramount film VERTIGO. “Vertigo” is published by Famous Music/Sony ATV.
To finish out 1958 Livingston & Evans were brought on board at Paramount to compose two songs for the Cary Grant, Sophia Loren film HOUSEBOAT. The first song, “Bing! Bang! Bong! is a cute song that Sophia Loren sings at a dance in front of a crowd of onlookers. The second song, “Almost In Your Arms” is a song Cary Grant specifically requested Livingston & Evans to write. When Cary Grant met with Livingston & Evans he mentioned that when he was in the South of France the year earlier at the film festival he and Grace Kelly were being harassed by the paparazzi and in retaliation he asked her to dance so they could get away from the flashing bulbs. Cary said, “between holding Grace Kelly in my arms, the music, and the atmosphere, I felt myself falling in love while dancing with her.” Cary said we need a very seductive song to be written for this scene where my character and Sophia Loren’s character slowly fall in love while dancing together cheek to cheek.” The result of Cary Grant’s request is “Almost In Your Arms”, which won Livingston and Evans their sixth Academy Awards nomination. Famous Music / Sony ATV publishes these two songs.
Sophia Loren/Bing! Bang! Bong!
Johnny Nash/Almost In Your Arms
Sophia Loren and Cary Grant from Houseboat (volume may be quite low; please adjust)
Next session will find Livingston & Evans working with Burt Lancaster’s production company, United Artists, and 20th Century Fox.