Wednesday, January 22, 2014

TMFW 19 - Deep in the Heart of [CENSORED]

"Deep in the Heart of Texas" feels like a cowboy song that was sung back in the days of Jim Bowie and Sam Houston and those guys.  But it was actually written and recorded in 1941, when sings like that passed for mainstream music.  Perry Como, Gene Autry, and Bing Crosby each had a version with the first two years of the song's writing, and each saw good success with it.  Como's version was #1 on "Your Hit Parade" for several weeks, and Crosby's made #3 on the Billboard charts.
The song was even famous internationally, where it was picked up by the BBC and placed in regular rotation.  The famous handclaps throughout the song were popular with listeners, who would clap along for fun.  Those claps ultimately spelled doom for the song in England.
With the war effort in full swing, officials worried that if the song were heard by factory workers - apparently music was played to maintain morale - they might neglect their tools during the handclap parts of the song, losing productivity or making a critical mistake. So, in what must be the tamest censorship ever, the BBC banned the song during working hours.  
(H/T Dan Lewis and his terrific book "Now I Know" for today's idea)
Bonus Fact:  For readers of a certain generation, "Deep in the Heart of Texas" is inextricably linked with the great movie Pee-Wee's Big Adventure.  To prove to his friend Dottie that he is actually in Texas while on a phone call, Pee-Wee hollers out the first line of the song.  Right on cue, everyone around claps and sings the tag.  I've always imagined that this is what Texas is really like

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