Johnny Green may not have been the most prolific of composers, but some of the songs he wrote music for turned into significant standards, including “Body and Soul,” “Out of Nowhere,” and “I Wanna Be Loved.” Although Green is best remembered for these compositions, he actually spent the bulk of his career working in the movie industry. He was MGM’s music director from 1949 to 1959; during his time in Hollywood he worked on films such as An American in Paris, Easter Parade, Oliver!, and West Side Story, receiving 13 Oscar nominations and winning five. His score for the 1957 film Raintree County is considered to be one of his best, and several excerpts are featured in part 2 of “The Johnny Green Songbook,” along with Django Reinhardt’s version of “Coquette,” Deanna Durbin doing the Green obscurity “The Turntable Song” (from the movie Something in the Wind), Mary Ann McCall and “I’m Yours,” and more interpretations of “I Cover the Waterfront” and “Body and Soul,” from Billie Holiday and Dexter Gordon, respectively.
Watch Deanna Durbin sing the title song from Something in the Wind:
Listen to The Johnny Green Songbook, Part 1–posted, along with this segment, in tribute to what would have been his 100th birthday on October 10, 2008.