Arthur Murray Taught Me Dancing in a Hurry

My aunt has Alzheimer’s Disease. Both my parents died young, and when I see my aunt fade away, I know I’m losing one of my few remaining connections to my parents and their generation.

During one visit with my aunt in the nursing home, I reminisced about what a great dancer she had been. “Do you remember?” I asked her. “You could do all the dances. You taught for Arthur Murray.” I was just talking, I didn’t think she was actually listening. But when she heard the name Arthur Murray, she jumped up and launched into a lively rendition of the song Arthur Murray Taught Me Dancing in a Hurry. She knew all the words and did the whole dance routine, with lots of turns and kicks.

I had never heard the song before, so I went home and did a little research online. I learned that it was a novelty song by Johnny Mercer and Victor Schertzinger, sung by Betty Hutton in the 1942 movie The Fleet’s In, and I found this video clip from the movie on YouTube. Betty Hutton is brash and bold, quite magnificent in her own way, wearing one of the ugliest outfits ever seen in a musical. This movie clip was new to me, but was clearly stored intact within my aunt’s mind, where so much else was lost. Watching this online made me feel just a little closer to her.

Related Links

  • Arthur Murray Taught Me Dancing In A Hurry — Lyrics and chords from the GuitarGuy’s website
  • Arthur Murray Taught Me Dancing in a Hurry — An interesting post providing some context from the Big Apple website
  • Murray in a Hurry — Brief article from Time Magazine, October, 1942, on the growing popularity of Arthur Murray studios:

    “Arthur Murray, the Tiffany and Sears, Roebuck of U.S. dance, has almost every kind of pupil in his nationwide chain of 146 dance schools. But the trade of socialites is fast being augmented by the trade of new-rich war workers, who have long listened to the juke-box hit ‘Arthur Murray Taught Me Dancing in a Hurry.'”

  • RIP Betty Hutton “the Blonde Bombshell — From the Classic Film Comedy website

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