Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Dory Previn, Composer of The Songs From Valley of the Dolls Dies

Dory Previn, who is best known to me for co-writing the songs for the movie Valley of the Dolls passed away at age 86. She will forever be attached to her ex-husband Andre, although he, like Frank Sinatra left his wife for Mia Farrow.

(Theme from) Valley of the Dolls and the movie were big hits in 1967. It's one of my top ten movies of all time. The theme song's lyrics and music greatly portrayed the melancholy, confusion, disgust and yearning for a different life that the main character Ann Welles goes through in the course of the story. The phrasing and unfinished thoughts were a very different take from most pop songs at that time.

Gotta get off, gonna get
Have to get off from this ride
Gotta get hold, gonna get
Need to get hold of my pride

I'm not sure if the song was written that way, or it's the way Dionne Warwick performed it. Judy Garland was originally cast in the film and I think expected to sing the song. Dory has said that the lyrics were inspired by her own struggles with pills.

The highlight of the songs has to be Come Live With Me which is sung by Tony Scotti, who later went on to found Scotti Bros Records. Here is the second performance of the song during the movie which is a duet with Patty Duke. It takes place in a sanitarium and brings the Tony Polar character to life.

John Williams who composed the score for the movie has a interesting post on his site about the music.

Dory Previn went on to release several solo albums, which included her intense lyrics as on the song Beware Of Young Girls. It was written about Mia Farrow.

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