Jule STYNE (1905-1994)
Jule Styne This Is Your Life
  • The first transatlantic edition of This Is Your Life

programme details...

  • Edition No: 493
  • Subject No: 491
  • Broadcast date: Wed 24 May 1978
  • Broadcast time: 7.00-7.30pm
  • Recorded: Tue 23 May 1978
  • Venue: WNEW TV Studios, New York
  • Series: 18
  • Edition: 26
  • Code name: Secretary

on the guest list...

  • Peter Witt
  • Dorothy Dicker
  • Carol Channing
  • Margaret – wife
  • Katherine – daughter
  • Nicholas – son
  • Norton – son
  • Stanley – son
  • Claire Bregman – sister
  • Maury Styne – brother
  • Frank Masters
  • Ned Miller
  • Sammy Cahn
  • Joe Kipness
  • Dolores Gray
  • Betty Comden
  • Adolph Green
  • Alice Faye
  • Stephen Sondheim
  • Filmed tributes:
  • Tony Bennett
  • Tony Martin
  • Gene Autry

production team...

  • Researchers: Maurice Leonard, Tony Lee
  • Writers: Tom Brennand, Roy Bottomley
  • Directors: Royston Mayoh, Terry Yarwood
  • Producer: Jack Crawshaw
  • names above in bold indicate subjects of This Is Your Life
related pages...

Life is a Cabaret

a musical theatre chorus line


Timeline

the show's fifty year history


Maurice Leonard

the researcher's story


Alice Faye

Screenshots of Jule Styne This Is Your Life

Researcher Maurice Leonard recalls his experience of this particular edition of This Is Your Life in this exclusive contribution to the BigRedBook website...


One of the first shows we did in America – it might have been the very first – was This Is Your Life Jule Styne, in New York. Composer Jule had written Broadway shows and many hit songs including the Oscar winning “Three Coins in the Fountain” for Sinatra.


Jule Styne

The pick-up, where the subject is surprised by “the book”, literally stopped the traffic on Broadway, where so many of his shows had made their debut. A huge moving electric sign blared out the message that we were there, followed by Eamonn Andrews in person presenting him with the famous Big Red Book. Yes, Broadway did it's musical son proud. Helped a little by us.


It augured well as soon as we got to New York, in my case about a week or so beforehand. As I was checking into my hotel, a pianist in the foyer was playing “Time after Time” one of Jule's hits. A warm glow suffused me and that couldn't be bad.


One of Jule's guests was movie star Alice Faye, who I'd arranged to meet at the airport. She was flying in from her ranch in California. Everyone got off the plane except Alice. That was nice. I was distraught and asked for her to be paged, emphasising 'Just say Miss Faye, not Alice Faye'; didn't want the whole airport to know she was there. It was, after all, a surprise show. Up came a sweet little lady in a red mack: “Hi, I'm Alice”. We'd walked past each other a thousand times.


Boy, was she fun. There was a warmth about her. “You don't have to rush away?” she asked as we got into the car. “Can we have a drink together?” We could and did. Several. She'd just been filming a Lassie feature with Zsa Zsa Gabor, no stranger to This Is Your Life and a future subject herself. The evening went on for quite a while as she reminisced about Jule and their days together at 20th Century Fox. Legendary child star Shirley Temple had also been at Fox with them. Shirley Temple switched movies for politics, where she had a dazzling career becoming a US Ambassador. Sadly she was away at the time of Jule's show but, in a phone call to me, recalled those days and sent Jule her love.


At the read-through for the show, the day before, the producer, Jack Crawshaw, made his little welcome speech. The show was to round up that particular series. He explained we always like to do something special on this occasion and on the previous series we'd ended with no less a figure than Lord Mountbatten of Burma and this series it was to be Jule Styne. “The full spectrum” boomed Sammy Cahn, Jule's collaborator lyricist on so many of his songs. He wrote the words to “Time After Time”.


Alice looked incredible on the show. Could she make an entrance. Heels, make-up, frock, every inch the star she was. The place exploded. As it did afterwards when the team adjourned to a restaurant. She got a round of applause.


Jule Styne

Carol Channing greets Jule Styne as Eamonn checks his script

Taking her back to the airport afterwards. It was dusk and the lights of the skyscrapers were lighting the sky. Jule had enjoyed the show. There'd also been contributions by Broadway Queen Carol Channing, Annie Get Your Gun and Follies star Dolores Gray and the great Tony Bennett. I asked Alice if she'd sing "Time after Time". In the gleaming light, in that car speeding through New York, she softly sang it to me.


And, to think, I got paid for this job.

Roy Bottomley This Is Your Life book

Scriptwriter Roy Bottomley recalls this edition of This Is Your Life in his book, This Is Your Life: The Story of Television's Famous Big Red Book...


Pop or opera, classical music or jazz, the Life has featured some great musical greats – and once stopped the traffic on Broadway itself.


Composer Jule Styne had come a long way from his humble origins at 228 Brick Lane, Bethnal Green, in London’s East End where he was born in 1905.


Where Broadway meets Times Square there is a famous non-stop moving strip giving news flashes to that brash, noisy, teeming little bit of Manhattan. As Jule Styne reached that junction, walking down Broadway with a friend on the evening of 23 May 1978, the news flash read: ‘Tonight, Jule Styne, This Is Your Life.’ And from the bustling Broadway crowd, out stepped Eamonn Andrews. We had been in New York for a week, fixing that and many more surprises which we sprung on the astonished Jule at the studios of WNEW TV on East 67thStreet.


We played some of his hit numbers: ‘Three Coins in a Fountain’, ‘Everything’s Coming Up Roses’, ‘Time After Time’ and many more. Lyricist Sammy Cahn sang a new version for Jule: ‘Time after time, I tell myself that I’m, so lucky to have met Jule Styne.’


Among the Broadway legends there to confirm that view were Carol Channing – for whom he wrote ‘Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend’ – Dolores Gray, Alice Faye, Gene Autry in Hollywood, Tony Bennett in Las Vegas and the great man with whom Jule wrote the score for Gyspy, Stephen Sondheim.


Amazingly, the star Jule first rubbed shoulders with was turn-of-the-century music-hall headliner Sir Harry Lauder, back in the East End. Jule’s father Isador was a great fan, and took the young Jule to see his idol at the local music hall. Jule dashed on to the stage, whereupon Sir Harry picked him up and had him join with him singing his hit number ‘Daisy, Daisy’.


Jule emigrated with his family to Chicago in 1910. By the ‘Roaring Twenties’ he had his own band in the Chicago of Al Capone and the mobs.


He left for New York to become, at first, a vocal coach. Tony Martin was among his clients. And Jule had a huge hit with Judy Holliday in Bells are Ringing.


As Stephen Sondheim said on the programme, ‘Several generations have danced and romanced to his music.’

Series 18 subjects: Richard Beckinsale > Peter Ustinov > Virginia Wade > Robert Arnott > Lin Berwick > Bob Paisley > The Bachelors > David Broome > Arthur English > Barry Sheene > Margot Turner > Pat Coombs > Michael Croft > Max Boyce > Nicholas Parsons > Richard Goolden > Ian Hendry > Marti Caine > Ian Wallace > Dennis Waterman > Anton Dolin > Terry Wogan > William Franklyn > Richard Murdoch > Harry Patterson > Jule Styne > Mike Yarwood