Did any of you make Sonny Rollins rather spectacular concert at Damrosch Park the Sunday before Labor Day?
As I noted in my review in The New York Sun, the most interesting new piece that Sonny has added to his repertoire is something called “Serenade.” At first I thought that it might be the famous “Serenade” by Sig Romberg from The Student Prince, which was much later recorded in swingtime by Frankie Laine (believe it or not). Then there’s another song called “Serenade (Music Played On A Heartstring),” credited to Gordon – Mascheroni – presumably Mack Gordon and the Italian songwriter Vittorio Mascheroni, which was recorded by Ray Noble’s Orchestra with crooner Buddy Clark circa 1946.
It turns out it’s not either one of these. As I mention in the story: “Adapted from the 1900 ballet “Serenade Les Millions d’Arlequin” by the lesser-known Paduan composer Ricardo Drigo (born 1846), this was first heard as a pop tune in England, played by British dance bands like Jack Hylton’s, around the time of the composer’s death in 1930.” (Coincidentally, the year that Sonny was born.)
I actually have it by a couple of British bands, including Jack Hylton and Lew Stone. As far as I can tell, it is not the same tune that was played by Ray Noble (who was also British) and Buddy Clark.
My question: Sonny distinctly remembers that he first heard this theme – the Drigo “Serenade” – as the theme of a radio show from the late ‘30s or early ‘40s. But he doesn’t remember what the show was. Does anyone have any further information on pop versions of this song? Can anyone tell me what the radio show was that used it for a theme song?
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