Ask “Mr. Music”
Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: While enjoying one of your recent columns, I noticed a piece about “Feudin' and Fightin',” a song from the stage show “Laffing Room Only.”

You said the writers credited for “Feudin' and Fightin'” are Burton Lane and Al Dubin, and I am wondering where you found that information.

Since I was a member of that show's original cast, I do not recall Al Dubin at all. I am including a copy of the original playbill, and Al Dubin is not mentioned anywhere. It just says “Music and lyrics by Burton Lane."

You may be interested to know that conductor/composer Robert Shaw was an arranger for “Feudin' and Fightin',” and I think it was his very first show. He later worked with Fred Waring.

I am still a singer and dancer, performing now in the Clearwater/Tampa area in “Our Own Broadway,” which is made up of local seniors — most of whom actually have professional experience.
—Ken Buffett, Palm Harbor, Fla.

DEAR KEN: I appreciate the interesting letter, and especially the fascinating and nostalgic playbill.

As for the information that Al Dubin and Burton Lane share songwriting credits on “Feudin' and Fightin',” it came directly from ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) sources.

First I consulted their book, “ASCAP Hit Tunes,” which credits the tune this way:

Words: Al Dubin and Burton Lane
Music: Burton Lane

I then looked for Al Dubin in the huge “ASCAP Biographical Dictionary,” where his professional career is briefly documented. Listed there among the dozens of pop classics credited to Dubin is “Feudin' and Fightin'.”

I do have a theory as to why Al is widely credited even though he had nothing to do with the original cast to which you belonged.

Your show opened in the dead of winter — December 23 to be exact — at the appropriately chosen Winter Garden, in 1944.

The ASCAP book shows “Feudin' and Fightin'” as first being published in 1947.

It would appear that between 1944 and '47, Al Dubin entered the picture in some capacity as to forevermore share the writing credits with Burton Lane.

Just today I checked the “Hollywood Song — The Complete Film and Musical Companion,” and they credit the song to “Burton Lane, Al Dubin, AND Frank Loesser.” Obviously, Loesser contributed to the 1948 film, titled “Feudin', Fussin' and A-Fightin',” and starring Donald O'Connor.

As a final thought, I do applaud the entertaining lifestyle that clearly enriches the lives of your revue cast, as well as their audiences.

DEAR JERRY: There is a song I haven't heard in about 40 years. They played often on our local pre-Beatles AM pop radio station here in Greenwood. I believe the title is “Blonde Bombshell,” or at least that is the line most heard in the chorus.

I have asked many record mavens but all have come up empty on this one, so see what you can do.

This is one of the only tunes from my youth that seems as though it never even existed, though I know it does.
—James Ray Crenshaw, Greenwood, S.C.

DEAR JAMES: You've come to the right maven.

You are absolutely on the mark about it being 40 years. “Blonde Bombshell” is a 1962 release by Don Rondo (Jubilee 5421).

This is, of course, the same Don Rondo who had huge hits in the mid-'50s with “Two Different Worlds” and “White Silver Sands.”

Interestingly, on the flip side of “Blonde Bombshell” is a reissue of Rondo's “Two Different Worlds.”

IZ ZAT SO? Some may not recognize Al Dubin's name, but most folks know many of his compositions.

Do some of these titles ring a melodious bell?

“I Only Have Eyes for You; September in the Rain; You're Getting to Be a Habit with Me; Tiptoe Thru the Tulips; Anniversary Waltz; I'll String Along with You,” and the Academy Award Winning (1935) “Lullaby of Broadway.”

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