Song of the Day: Morris Stoloff, “Moonglow/Theme From Picnic”

Today we’re looking for a love song without words, which I will take to mean a love song performed instrumentally. I have two love songs, performed instrumentally and simultaneously. Allow me to explain….

"Moonglow" is a 1934 song written by Will Hudson and Irving Mills, with lyrics by Eddie DeLange. It’s a standard, and as such has been recorded many times, one example being Doris Day’s cover from 1957.

"Theme from Picnic" was written by George Duning with lyrics by Steve Allen as the theme song from the 1955 movie (based on the 1953 play by William Inge) that starred William Holden and Kim Novak. The McGuire Sisters sang the lyrics in their single in 1956.

The chord changes in the theme were similar enough to those in "Moonglow" that Morris Stoloff, Columbia Pictures’ Musical Director, decided to combine the two for the dance scene between Holden and Novak. The combination proved to be a winner. Here is the final result.

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