"Remember how much I cried: Tears of joy to think you were mine. Darling, down deep inside, I still feel that feeling divine." Buck Ram, the manager of the Platters and a former law student at the University of Illinois, brought these lyrics into one of the publishing firms he dealt with and Mickey Addy was the lucky staff member who got to grab the piano bench and come up with a suitable accompanying melody and set of chord changes. It was 1959 and the Platters were already one of the most successful vocal groups of that decade. Ram had co-written many of the group's hits, including "Only You (And You Alone," "The Great Pretender," "Enchanted," and "Twilight Time." Another one of his hit runs, "Remember When," was one of the group's biggest smashes and appears on every Platters' greatest-hits collections, as well as being a part of any serious tribute to the group, which originally formed in Los Angeles in 1953 and featured Tony Williams on lead. As for Addy, he had already logged a quarter of a century in the music publishing and songwriting business by the "Remember When" time. His earliest credits go back to the '30s, songs such as the desperate "I Can't Go on Like This" written in 1934 with Howard Johnson and Teddy Powell and recorded by Abe Lyman, or the previous year's idyllic "Paradise Lane" co-written with Charlie McCarthy, but not the puppet. In the '40s, Addy was part of professional staff of song publisher and recording entrepreneur Joe Davis, along with songwriters such as Harry Bernie and Don Cameron hustling through the tough years of the World War II recording ban by selling songs and sheet music directly to nightclubs that featured live entertainment. Addy is a name often mentioned in the context of other Tin Pan Alley songwriting magnates such as Harry Cohn and Irving Caeser. Addy's attempt at writing a classic Christmas song, as in a ditty that would be repeatedly recorded and bring in bushel baskets full of royalty checks, was "There's No Christmas Like a Home Christmas." The public may not have agreed with the sentiment: The song was recorded exactly once by Danny Wright, with little success. That Addy's only really memorable song, at least in terms of the record-listening public's attention would be his collaboration with the beautiful sentiments of Buck Ram, seems to be the evitable result of the type of mediocre, run-of-the-mill material that is synonymous with the Tin Pan Alley scene, despite the wonderful records that did slip through the machinery from time to time. One of the great comments on Addy and his associates comes amusingly enough from a computer translation of a German essay on the Tin Pan Alley era. Fans of the unintentional poetry and surrealistic texts that result from these "automatic" translations would know they were in for a good time right from the beginning, as Tin Pan Alley is translated as "Assembly-line songs of sheet metal avenue."
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