July 4, 2015

Celebrating a "Yankee Doodle Dandy" 4th of July!

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On this 4th of July, I'm recognizing Independence Day
by highlighting the patriotic movie, Yankee Doodle Dandy.

Loosely based on the life of entertainer & composer George M. Cohan, 
it starred James Cagney in the leading role, for which he won an Academy Award.

It was released on Memorial Day,1942, 6 months after 
the bombing of Pearl Harbor, when the US entered World War II.

Instead of selling tickets to the Broadway opener,
they sold War Bonds, raising 5 million dollars.

James Cagney's sister Jeanne played Cohan's sister Josie.

This was the first movie in which a living US President (FDR) was portrayed.

George M. Cohan died of cancer the year the film was released, November 1942.

In 1985, this movie was one of the first to be colorized.


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Among the Cohan songs in the musical score are Harrigan, You're a Grand Old Flag
Over ThereGive My Regards to Broadway, and of course, Yankee Doodle Boy.

Here's the video of Jimmy Cagney, as George M. Cohan, performing
Yankee Doodle Boy. You'll see Mickey Rooney & Judy Garland as well. 




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