Elementary, My Dear Scrooge
Returning back to seriously unknown Christmas songs from musicals, here's another song from that TV musical, The Stingiest Man in Town, I mentioned here the other day. It was a 1956 special on the Alcoa Hour based on Dickens' A Christmas Carol.
Many of the names involved might no longer be household ones, but as you can see from the album cover below, for the day it was a respectable cast, with a couple of full-fledged opera stars in it (Patrice Munsel and Robert Weebe), as well as pop stars. And one Hollywood legend as Scrooge.
As I noted, the score by Fred Spielman and Janice Torre isn't especially memorable, but there are some nice things in it. And I like this one, as much for it being sung by none other than Basil Rathbone (famous for playing Sherlock Holmes from 1936-1946), as for the song itself. He's no singer at all, but handles the number effectively.
I should also note that I like it when songs are written from famous lines in literature, as this is. This number comes from late in the show, after Scrooge has learned his lesson. It takes its title from a line from Dickens when Scrooge has told the Ghost of Jacob Marley that his former partner was always a good man of business, and the specter admonishes him. And so, here, Scrooge has learned that lesson. "Mankind Should Be My Business."
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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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