Words and Music by Jack Lawrence & Clara Edwards
Some Of The Best Recordings
Heard On Screen
For sheet music contact: www.halleonard.com
The Story Behind The Song
I have always loved collecting old sheet music and albums of various ethnic backgrounds, songs, lieder, piano compositions. Many times they have sparked ideas for songs. One day, in a Schirmer music album, I fell in love with a 16 bar song that had an intriguing title: "With The Wind And The Rain In Your Hair." That title conjured up a most romantic image although the lyric that followed, to my way of thinking, did not properly define that lovers' tryst.
The original short song had been published ten or more years before I saw it. I could not erase that title and the opening melody from my mind and before I knew it, I was rewriting the song. I added a release — the middle section — and a verse. Shortly after, while I was visiting Lou Diamond, the business head of Paramount-Famous Music Companies, I sang him my new version of "With The Wind And The Rain In Your Hair" and explained the Schirmer background. He agreed with me that it had hit potential but how were we to convince the original publisher and author?
The writer turned out to be a lady named Clara Edwards, a 61 year old grandmother at that time in 1940 who had written some charming semi-classic songs, the most famous of which was "By The Bend Of The River". When Lou Diamond talked with the head of Schirmer's, he felt that it would be impossible to convince Mrs. Edwards to accept my lyric and musical additions. Finally, the lady agreed to invite me to her East 64th Street apartment for tea. I did some tall, charming talking and by the time I was leaving, she was a bit thawed out and promised to think it over. I had painted glowing pictures: recordings by big bands and singers, YOUR HIT PARADE, and most important of all, the kind of performances and royalties Mrs. Edwards had never known.
Some weeks later Schirmer called Lou Diamond with the good news that Mrs. Edwards was willing and a fair royalty deal was concluded. The song lived up to all my predictions; it was on the HIT PARADE for eleven weeks, garnered great records by Kay Kyser and Ginny Sims, Sammy Kaye, Bob Crosby and others and the royalties and performances lived up to my expectations. Once again, Clara Edwards invited me to tea when the song was at the height of its popularity. This time I got a most warm reception.
It turned out that the purpose of this invitation was to ask me if I would care to browse through her entire catalogue of songs to determine if any others could lend themselves to rewriting. Unfortunately, none did. In any event, this was one happy grandmother.
Copyright © 2005 Jack Lawrence. All Rights Reserved.