DIMITRI TIOMKIN (OF ALL PEOPLE) MEETS JACK BENNY
Why did Dimitri Tiomkin, the great Russian film composer who inexplicably made his name (and fortune) writing themes for westerns, appear as a guest on The Jack Benny Show in 1961? My guess is that they played Golf or Bridge or Gin Rummy at the Hillcrest Country Club together and the idea came up after Tiomken mentioned that one of his favorite Benny routines was the awful song that Jack wrote that he could never sell. Titled "If You Say I Beg Your Pardon Then I'll Come Back To You", the song first appeared in the Benny radio show years, circa 1945. In the above TV episode, Jack wishes to revive the song and Tiomkin becomes as inexplicably embroiled in the song as he was in the writing of scores for movies like 'Red River', 'High Noon', 'Gunfight at the OK Corral' etc. By the way, Tiomken received twenty-two Academy Award nominations and won four Oscars, one of which was for Best Original Song for 'High Noon' . Titled 'The Ballad of High Noon', the theme was informally known as 'Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling', a title almost as embarrassingly absurd as 'If You Say I Beg Your Pardon...' etc.
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Posted by Raymond De Felitta at 12:52 PM