Episode 2019: UNTIL I SMILE AT YOU by Peter Jennings - a podcast by Ric Bratton
UNTIL I SMILE AT YOU: HOW ONE GIRL'S HEARTBREAK ELECTRIFIED FRANK SINATRA'S FAME!
by Peter Jennings with contributions by Tom Sandler
“Until I Smile At You” reveals for the first time the life of one of the most enduring musical talents in the 20th century: a young Canadian girl named Ruth Lowe, who wrote a song that dynamited Frank Sinatra's career into the stratosphere in 1940, “I’ll Never Smile Again.” The song charted on Billboard for an unheard of 12 weeks and has been recorded by more than 150 performers around the world. In fact, it’s still being recorded today (the book opens in studio as famed Blood, Sweat & Tears singer, David Clayton-Thomas, records his own unique version). Ruth Lowe has been called “One of the Architects of the American Ballad,” she is the recipient of a Grammy Award, her songs have been inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame and she’s about to be added to the Great American Songbook Foundation Hall of Fame. As Nancy Sinatra says in the book’s Foreword, "There’s a reason why 'I’ll Never Smile Again' has endured: it was a perfect song, interpreted by the perfect singer, at the perfect time.”
The book reveals that Ruth Lowe was no one-hit-wonder: she went on to write Sinatra’s theme song, “Put Your Dreams Away” (the last song played at his funeral) plus 50 other tunes for Broadway and Hollywood. (“Until I Smile At You” reveals the humorous story of how she had to write Sinatra’s theme song in under 24 hours.) Amazingly, no one has been privy to Ruth Lowe’s life story until now. Peter Jennings, the book’s author (who has written six other books), was personally selected by her family to write “Until I Smile At You.” And there’s this to add to Ruth’s narrative: in today's era of women claiming their full rights, consider that she was one of the earliest liberated females who worked in a man's world (Tin Pan Alley) and never let her gender, or her attractive good looks, get in the way of her outstanding talent. One of the interesting features of “Until I Smile At You” is Peter Jennings’ interviews with such luminaries as Bernie Taupin (Elton John's lyricist for over 50 years), Sir Tim Rice (who writes lyrics for Andrew Lloyd Webber), Alan Bergman (who has written award-winning songs for Barbra Streisand, Sinatra, etc.), the late Frank Sinatra Jr., music historian Chuck Granata, Sinatra biographer, James Kaplan, and many others... all of whom cast a glow on Ruth’s talents. Also featured are stories from Ruth’s late sister Mickey Cohen, who regales the author with details about how Ruth, whom she adored, wrote “the song.” There is also an interview with noted businessman/philanthropist Seymour Schulich who worked with Ruth’s second husband, Nat Sandler. (It was MGM that wanted to make a movie of Ruth’s life back in the day, staring Judy Garland, but Nat nixed the deal because he didn’t want her clinging to the past.) With the world facing increased levels of stress and anxiety, this is an ideal time for a story like “Until I Smile At You” with its positive, feel-good story of resilience.
Peter Jennings writes books from Fairview, his modern home overlooking Georgian Bay in Mundy's Harbour, Midland, Ontario, Canada. "Shark Assault: An Amazing Story of Survival" was published by Dundurn in November, 2015 (http://www.sharkassault.com). The book has received wide acclaim (re-printed less than one month after launch; Readers Digest publishing a 4,000 word excerpt in 15 languages around the world). His newest books, "Why Being Happy Matters" and "Behind The Seams" are now available on Amazon. Peter is also a singer of the Great American Songbook standards (http://www.pjentertainer.com). Learn more about this author at http://www.peterjennings.me. Check out his blog at http://www.anauthorslife.blog
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