Last year on Father's Day, I posted a video of the wonderful song, "Father's Day," that Groucho Marx sings. If you're interested in seeing it again (or for the first time), you can find it here.
This year, I have an even lesser-known song, "Dear Old Dad" -- without video, alas. It's from a very obscure musical, in fact one of the first that Sheldon Harnick ever wrote and before he teamed up with Jerry Bock -- but oddly didn't get produced until after the two had done Fiorello! and Tenderloin, though before Fiddler on the Roof. This was written with composer David Baker for the 1961 off-Broadway show, Smiling the Boy Fell Dead.
The show is a turn-of-the-century satire about overcoming huge obstacles to find success and get the girl. As fate would have it, the show was actually performed this year -- in February -- as part of the acclaimed York Theatre's "Theatre in Mufti" series, which has lately been offering a tribute to Sheldon Harnick with it's book-in-hand concert productions.
Here's the then-89 year-old Hanick (he just celebrated his 90th birthday last month) at the curtain call. To his left, you might recognized Tony Roberts.
Anyway, this is a roundabout way to get back to Father's Day. This is the odd and very whimsical, "Dear Old Dad," from the original 1951 cast recording, performed by the show's star Danny Meehan, along with Louise Larabee.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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