Monday, July 7, 2008

Arthur Tracy - 'The Street Singer'

Arthur Tracy was a popular singer whose career began in the 1920s in vaudeville. In 1931, he had his own radio show, "The Street Singer". He became immensely popular in Europe, too. His theme song was 'Marta, Rambling Rose of the Wildwood".

During my years of collecting of 78rpm records, I occasionally came across some of his records, and while I was familiar with, and liked, his theme song, Mr. Tracy's records 'introduced' me to other popular songs of the era.

Mr. Tracy semi-retired in the 1960s, and would sometimes be a guest on Joe Franklin's tv show in New York. He came out of retirement in 1981 with the release of the movie "Pennies from Heaven", as a new generation was introduced to his original recording of the theme song.

I wrote to Mr. Tracy in early 1982, requesting a photo. He replied within a few weeks, apologizing for the delay. His letter can be read here. In part, he writes:

"Please excuse the long delay. I've been touring and in Europe until now, since the opening of the film PENNIES FROM HEAVEN in which they used my record, it shot me back top side again and I'm opening at the COOKERY in N.Y. for six weeks on February 15. It's great again!"

He continued, thanking me for my loyalty and support, and signed the letter, "Always in song, Arthur Tracy". He enclosed this photo.

Below, Mr. Tracy can be seen in clip from a movie in which he sings "Marta" and "Trees".

No comments: