Happy Days Are Here Again” is a song copyrighted in 1929 by Milton Ager (music) and Jack Yellen (lyrics) and published by EMI Robbins Catalog, Inc./Advanced Music Corp. The song was recorded by Leo Reisman and His Orchestra, with Lou Levin, vocal (November 1929). Alhoewel ik nergens de bevestiging heb gevonden, lijkt het mij vrij logisch dat de song inspeelt op een economisch herstel na de fameuze Wall Street Crash van 1929.

The song was featured in the 1930 film Chasing Rainbows.[zie bovenstaande afbeelding] The song concluded the picture, in what film historian Edwin Bradley described as a “pull-out-all-the-stops Technicolor finale, against a Great War Armistice show-within-a-show backdrop”. This early example of two-strip Technicolor footage was, along with another Technicolor sequence, later cut from the 1931 re-edited release of the otherwise black-and-white film, and is believed to have been lost in the 1965 MGM vault fire.

Today, the song is usually remembered as the campaign song for Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s successful 1932 presidential campaign. According to Time magazine, it gained prominence after a spontaneous decision by Roosevelt’s advisers to play it at the 1932 Democratic National Convention, and went on to become the Democratic Party‘s “unofficial theme song for years to come”. The song is also associated with the Repeal of Prohibition, which occurred shortly after Roosevelt’s election where there were signs saying “Happy days are beer again” and so on.

As of 2006, 76 commercially released albums include versions of the song. The song has appeared in over 80 films, including many from the 1930s and is number 47 on the Recording Industry Association of America’s list of “Songs of the Century“.

Eén van de bekendste uitvoeringen is die van Barbra Streisand. She first recorded the song in October 1962 at Columbia’s NYC studio, some months before her first album sessions. This version, arranged and conducted by George Williams became Streisand’s first commercial single in November 1962, with “When the Sun Comes Out” as a B-side. Only 500 copies of this single were pressed for the New York market, and no copies were sent to radio stations. Streisand re-recorded the song in January 1963 for her debut solo The Barbra Streisand Album.

Streisand sang the song opposite Judy Garland, who performed “Get Happy“, during an October 1963 broadcast of The Judy Garland Show. The live performance of this medley was first included on Streisand’s 1991 box set Just for the Record… and again on her 2002 Duets compilation album.

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