Ray Evans and Jay Livingston wrote some of the 20th century’s best known songs including ;”Mona Lisa”, Que Sera Sera”, “Tammy”, “To Each His Own”,themes from the “Bonanza” and “Mr Ed “TV shows….and “Silver Bells”.
This last one , “Silver Bells” was originally sung by Bob Hope and Marilyn Maxwell in one of the pictures my father Bob Welch Sr. produced called the “Lemon Drop Kid”.
My father and Ray Evans were good friends , and it was actually my father who fought to keep “ Silver Bells” in the movie. As of 2005 , it remains one of the most played songs ever.
I always liked and admired Ray a lot , as a little kid , and later , after my father died , Ray helped my band “Ivory Hudson and the Harlequins” get heard by major publisherand industry leader Larry Shane.
I’ve kept in touch with Ray all these years, and for his 90th birthday, I recorded a parody of “Mona Lisa” with lyrics that detail how my father replaced “Lemon Drop Kid’s” original director, “Sidney Lanfield” , with Frank Tashlin.
Among other things , Lanfield had hated “Silver Bells” and shot it in a very static scene that he knew would be cut from the movie.. But it was Lanfield himself who got cut from the picture instead ….and Ray and Jay had their biggest hit.
After he got my parody, Ray mailed me and told me he’d enjoyed it…and I got the story right !
Up until Jay Livingston’s
death a couple of years ago, Ray and Jay were very active,
appearing at ASCAP
songwriters conventions and the like.
Like I say in my send-up , I hope that Ray’s around to celebrate his 100th “bash” in 2015!
(mp3 is on main page under link for this note)