Mandy Patinkin isn’t the only singer who idolizes Great American Songbook writers like Sondheim and Harburg — Dallas’ own Gary Lynn Floyd has a personal favorite.
So who is it? Gershwin? Porter? Kern? Nope. The man Floyd thinks deserves his due is Harry Warren.
A master of the Hollywood musical ear-worm, Warren composed the music and/or lyrics for such iconic songs as “Lullaby of Broadway,” “I Only Have Eyes for You,” “Jeepers, Creepers” and “That’s Amore” (winning three Oscars along the way). But he also wrote the classic Etta James torch song “At Last” and “Chattanooga Choo Choo.”
“He was one of the most prolific songwriters in modern American history and was the first major American song composer to write primarily for film,” Floyd says.
So it was a no-brainer for Floyd to choose Warren’s songs for his new show. When Gary Met Harry is Floyd’s tribute to Warren, and inaugurates the brand-new Cabaret Series at the Sammons Center for the Arts.
On Thursday, Floyd’s lilting tenor will take audiences through a musical journey featuring his interpreting of songs that include “Million Dollar Baby,” “There Will Never Be Another You” and “Lulu’s Back in Town.” Warren also wrote the song “An Affair to Remember” — which would probably be an apt description of this kickoff to the new cabaret series.
Sammons Center for the Arts, 3930 Harry Hines Blvd. Sept. 20 at 8 p.m. Diana Sheehan will perform in October and Denise Lee will perform in November for more of the Cabaret Series. For tickets and more information, visit SammonsArtCenter.org.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 14, 2012.