Dec 11, 2018
It’s holiday season and the perfect time for a podcast about gifts. The story of an extraordinary gift – a very special piano – is a favorite of Cal’s and will bring good cheer to all who listen. The story revolves around songwriter Jimmy McHugh, who was highly successful until the stock market crash in 1929 that set off The Great Depression. McHugh was forced to sell everything he owned to survive, and the loss of his piano left him unable to work because he could no longer write songs without one. He moved into a flat and was sleeping on a straw mattress, wondering how he was going to get through the calamity.
And then, a gift came along that changed his life, and a lot of other lives. That gift – an upright piano – led McHugh to write an optimistic song that helped America get through The Depression. The song turned into an anthem. It’s called: On the Sunny Side of the Street. It would come to be performed by Frank Sinatra, Louie Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald and Rod Stewart, and the lesson in the lyrics is just as relevant today, as told by McHugh’s grandson, Lee Newman, and the musician Dave Damiani.
Please pass this episode on, for everyone it touches will feel better and be a little bit luckier for it.