Magazine article California History

Dear to Me

Magazine article California History

Dear to Me

Article excerpt

Taking a glance at the Contents of this issue, it looks as if we concocted a combo of essays related to California's musical pedigree. Titles include "Mexican Musicians," "Woody Guthrie," and "Comic Operas," but looks deceive. Our lead article includes the sound of music; it profiles red-hot international stars from Mexico who performed in California. The piece about "Woody Sez," deals with Guthrie's very political Los Angeles newspaper column, and an essay concerning Mexican California revises understanding of maneuver warfare, previously interpreted as comic opera-like sword rattling.

Still, these musical titles cocked my ear and set me on a quest for our state song. Employing a highly unscientific survey, the results showed that practically no one has a clue about California's official state song. All that will change for you in the next five minutes.

Everyone I asked took the same good (but wrong) guess: "California, Here I Come." It's no wonder, so pervasive is it in the popular culture and so familiar--especially the phrase "Open up that Golden Gate." The show tune was written by Bud De Sylva and Joseph Meyer. Al Jolson is famous for many songs: he introduced this one in 1924 on stage in "Bombo," performed for huge crowds in Los Angeles, and later in the movie Rose of Washington Square (1939). His 1946 Decca single sold one million copies, but the song's prominence today must be due more to covers by many artists and many film soundtracks such as an array including Bugs Bunny cartoons, A Star is Born, They Shoot Horses, Don't They? …

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