Words and Music by Jack Lawrence & Richard Myers
Some Of The Best Recordings
For sheet music contact: www.halleonard.com
The Story Behind The Song
I had written this song with Richard Myers who was an old time writer from the early days of Broadway musicals. He had given up songwriting for producing on Broadway with Richard Aldrich who was married to Gertrude Lawrence. At a casual meeting, Myers had played me this melody with which I fell in love. As happens sometimes with songs, this one remained in my trunk for a few years after we completed it.
In 1950 I was working on the west coast at various film studios and had become friendly with Louella Parson's daughter, Harriet, who had produced a few good pictures in the past. Harriet was on the verge of producing a small film for RKO Pictures, didn't have much of a budget and couldn't get top stars. She finally got two names that were on their way out: Debbie Reynolds was being dropped by MGM and Dick Powell had done very little for some years. They were cast in Harriet's film, "Susan Slept Here," a cute story about an older man and a teenager. Well, you know the plot!
Harriet had fallen in love with this unpublished song; "Hold My Hand" and wanted to use it somehow in the film. Although both Debbie and Powell were singers, the script didn't call for either of them to burst into song so I had to invent some reason for its inclusion. I came up with the idea that teenage Susan, (Debbie) has fallen in love with a recording of this song by a particular singer and swoons each time she hears it on radio.
Off I rushed to New York to get a name singer to record my song only to meet blank walls everywhere. I couldn't get a big name because it was a B picture! Finally I wound up with Don Cornell, another talent on his way out! We planted his record in about six or eight spots in the film and lo and behold! When the film was released, "Hold My Hand" by Don Cornell shot to the top of the charts, that little B picture started making money and my song was nominated for an Academy Award!
If you'd like to hear the song beautifully interpreted, get Nat Cole's version!
Copyright © 2005 Jack Lawrence. All Rights Reserved.