Here's the story! The note is from Joe Hanchrow tuba player for the Smith Street Society Jazz Band. ______________________________________________ The Smith Street Society Jazz Band goes back to the early 1960s in New York City (actually the band started in Baldwin, Long Island - the location of Smith Street). The name came about because they suddenly had a place to play but had no name. The location was on the corner of Smith Street and Grand Avenue. The rest, as they say, is history. Sometime around 1964, one of the musicians made an off-handed remark about Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen, calling it The Bear Missed The Train. Within minutes, the tune was written and performed. Our first album was recorded in 1973, and we included The Bear. Several radio personalities picked up on it; Jean Shephard and Al "Jazzbo" Collins. Jazzbo used it as his theme on his nightly jazz show in San Francisco, and Jean played his kazoo along with it almost every night on his radio show on WOR in New York. One day, Jean called us and invited us on his TV show. That was a hoot! Then, Jazzbo came to NYC and had a nightly jazz show on WNEW-AM. We were on his show many times, and often played for WNEW functions. The melody to Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen is an old folk song probably never copyrighted. The lyrics to Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen are copyrighted. The Smith Street Society Jazz Band owns the copyright to The Bear lyrics(such as they are).
Date: Fri, 22 Jan 1999
....After my group, The Smith Street Society Jazz Band, recorded
an album that
included "The Bear Missed the Train", I sent copies to everyone and anyone
who seemed to me as if they might like it. I found out years later that Al
Jazzbeaux Collins had adopted it as a theme song for his TV program, and
played it nightly on his radio show (both in San Francisco). Years after
that, Al came back East and we developed a close friendship. The band was
on WNEW radio (with Jazzbeaux and with others) about 50 or 60 times.
Back to Shep: to my delight, he took a shine to "The Bear"
and played it
once or twice a night (at that time he was on for an hour or two each
evening on WOR.) From what he told me, his leaving WOR was because they
would not allow him to do taped shows, and his other pursuits were
"calling". As with you, I believe that, wonderful as he is in TV, movies
and of course, writing, radio was clearly the medium where he excelled
beyond all others.
I fondly remember him not only singing along with "The
Bear", but also
playing kazoo, nose whistle and (I'm sure you remember this) thumping his
head. Now that's a talent!