1954, May 13 – OPENING OF “THE PAJAMA GAME”

The tango “Hernando’s Hideaway” debuted in the musical “The Pajama Party” and was immediately a great hit; it has remained on of the most instantly recognized melodies in history…it has been recorded by many artists …bandleader Archie Bleyer’s version was perhaps the most successful reaching number “2” on the billboard chart in 1954….in 1955 the British vocal group “The Johnston Brothers” turned “Hernando’s Hideaway” into a number one single which in turn was used prominently in the British cult classic “Snatch” directed by Guy Ritchie…Debelah Morgan’s international hit “Dance With Me”,  released in 2000, is essentially a rearranged “Hernando’s Hideaway”…….it was a hit for Ella Fitzgerald from a live recording at Carnegie Hall…there are at least fifteen Finnish versions, the most popular being the by the ill-fated Olavi Virta in 1956…others who have successfully recorded it include Enoch Light and David Clayton Thomas; it has even been used by Breakbeat and Hip Hop artists

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The Pajama Game is based on the novel “7 1/2 Cents” by Richard Bissel…in the story, workers in a pajama factory are demanding a seven and a half cent raise but they are being ignored…in the midst of the ordeal an unlikely love blossoms between “Babe” the head of the grievance committee and “Sid” the new factory superintendent…directed by George Abott and choreographed by Bob Fosse, it was a hit enduring 1063 performances and winning many awards including a Tony for Best Musical…Bob Fosse would direct “Chicago” which had another great tango hit “Cell Block Tango”…The Pajama Game was composed by Richard Adler and written by Jerry Ross; they were also the team which created “Damn Yankees” which featured another hit tango, “Whatever Lola Wants, Lola Gets”…a bright future was predicted for the duo but Jerry Ross died of a respiratory disease at the age of twenty-nine years old; he was however, extremely productive in his short life writing or co-writing over 250 songs

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