Stock Certificate, issued/uncanceled1930'sJ. Meyers, Inc., New YorkThe item shown is representative of the piece you will receive
The Song Hit Guild, Inc. was incorporated in New York and had offices at 1619 Broadway in Manhattan. The Guild was designed to discover and promote new songwriting talent by encouraging unknown writers to submit songs. If the songs were of a quality, the Guild would try to have them recorded by a known artist.
The Song Hit Guild also published sheet music, including the hit “I’ll Stand By” by Rudy Vallee. This certificate was issued to Vallee.
Vallée became the most prominent and, arguably, the first of a new style of popular singer - the crooner. Previously, popular singers needed strong projecting voices to fill theaters in the days before the electric microphone. Crooners had soft voices that were well suited to the intimacy of the new medium of the radio. Vallée's trombone-like vocal phrasing on "Deep Night" would inspire later crooners such as Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, and Perry Como to model their voices on jazz instruments.
Vallée also became what was perhaps the first complete example of the 20th century mass media pop star. Flappers mobbed him wherever he went. His live appearances were usually sold out, and even if his singing could hardly be heard in those venues not yet equipped with the new electronic microphones, his screaming female fans went home happy if they had caught sight of his lips through the opening of the trademark megaphone he sang through. A brief caricature of him in the Fleischer Brothers' color Betty Boop theatrical short cartoon from 1934 Poor Cinderella depicts him singing through a megaphone.
In 1929, Vallée made his first feature film, The Vagabond Lover for RKO Radio. His first films were made to cash in on his singing popularity. Despite Vallée's rather wooden initial performances, his acting greatly improved in the late 1930s and 1940s. Also in 1929, Vallée began hosting The Fleischmann's Yeast Hour, a very popular radio show at the time. Vallée continued hosting popular radio variety shows through the 1930s and 1940s. The Royal Gelatin Hour featured various film performers of the era, such as Fay Wray and Richard Cromwell in dramatic skits.
Along with his group, The Connecticut Yankees, Vallée's best known popular recordings included: "The Stein Song" (aka University of Maine fighting song) in 1929 and "Vieni, Vieni" in the latter 1930s. Vallée sang fluently in three Mediterranean languages, and always varied the keys, thus paving the way for later pop crooners such as Dean Martin, Andy Williams and Vic Damone. Another memorable rendition of his is "Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherries", in which he imitates Willie Howard's voice in the final chorus. One of his record hits was "The Drunkard Song," popularly known as "There Is a Tavern in the Town." Vallée couldn't stop laughing for the last couple of verses- supposedly he struggled to keep a straight face at the corny lyrics, and the band members egged him on. He managed a second take reasonably well. The "laughing" version was so infectious, however, that Victor released both takes (take 1 was issued on Victor 24721 with a regular Victor label, and take 2 was issued on Victor 24739 on a special white label that read in bright red: "Dear Rudy, What do you say we let the public have this one? The slip-up makes the record sound funnier" - E. Wallerstein" and "O.K. - R. Vallée".)
Vallée's last hit song was the 1943 reissue of the melancholy ballad "As Time Goes By", popularized in the feature film Casablanca in 1943 (due to the mid-1940s recording ban, Victor reissued the version he had recorded 15 years earlier).
When Vallée took his contractual vacations from his national radio show in 1937, he insisted his sponsor hire Louis Armstrong as his substitute (this was the first instance of an African-American fronting a national radio program). Vallée also wrote the introduction for Armstrong's 1936 book Swing That Music.
Vallée acted in a number of Hollywood films starting with "The Vagabond Lover" in 1929. His earliest films showed him rather stiff and unemotional. He improved during the 1930s, and by the time he began working with Preston Sturges in the 1940s he had become a successful comedic supporting player. He appeared opposite Claudette Colbert in the 1942 Preston Sturges screwball comedy The Palm Beach Story. Other films in which he appeared include I Remember Mama, Unfaithfully Yours and The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer.
In 1955, Vallée was featured in Gentlemen Marry Brunettes, co-starring Jane Russell, Alan Young, and Jeanne Crain. The production was filmed on location in Paris. The film was based on the Anita Loos novel that was a sequel to her acclaimed Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Gentlemen Marry Brunettes was popular throughout Europe at the time and was released in France as A Paris Pour les Quatre ("Paris for the Four"), and in Belgium as Tevieren Te Parijs.
In 1971 he made a television appearance as a vindictive surgeon in the Night Gallery episode "Marmalade Wine."
In middle age, Vallée's voice matured into a robust baritone. He performed on Broadway as J.B. Biggley in the musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
and reprised the role in the film version of the show. He appeared in the campy 1960s Batman television show as the character "Lord Marmaduke Ffogg". He occasionally opened for The Village People.
Vallée's song compositions included "Oh! Ma-Ma! (The Butcher Boy)" in 1938, recorded by Glenn Miller and his Orchestra, "Deep Night", which was recorded by Duke Ellington and his Orchestra, "If You Haven't Got a Girl", "Violets", "Where To", "Will You Remember Me?", "We'll Never Get Drunk Any More", "Sweet Summer Breeze", "Actions Speak Louder Than Words", "Ask Not", "Forgive Me", "Charlie Cadet", "Somewhere In Your Heart", "You Took Me Out Of This World", "Old Man Harlem" with Hoagy Carmichael, which was recorded by the Dorsey Brothers band, "I'm Just a Vagabond Lover", and "Betty Co-Ed".NY-New York Music and Related Record Companies Bird Featured Eagle Featured