Walter Pidgeon - "What'll I Do" (1924)





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Uploaded on Sep 20, 2010

What'll I Do
Words and Music by Irving Berlin
Sung by Walter Pidgeon
Lester Hodges, piano
Recorded July 15, 1924
HMV B-1882

Walter Pidgeon was born September 23, 1897 in East St. John, New Brunswick Canada. He enlisted in the Canadian Army during World War I, but was discharged due to an injury. Trained as a singer at the New England Conservatory of Music, he joined Copley Players in Boston after the war and performed at Aeolian Hall with Elsie Janis who was on tour of the United States and Britain. A contract with Victor Records introduced him to Irving Berlin and he was asked to record "What'll I Do" in London in 1924. This, and the flip side of this record "Duna" were the only recordings that Pidgeon ever made.

With film offers from Hollywood he moved to California in 1926 and made a number of silent films but his rich baritone voice helped him make the easy transition to Universal's first talking picture, "Melody of Love." After about 30 undistinguished pictures and movie musicals for Paramount, First National and Universal, with movie musicals declining, he decided to pursue dramatic roles. In 1937 he was cast with Clark Gable and Jean Harlow in "Saratoga." At age 40 he entered into a long term contract with MGM Studios. Major films followed: How Green Was My Valley (1941), Mrs Miniver (1942), Madame Curie (1943). Starred in Broadway play The Happiest Millionaire (1956), musical Take Me Along (1959), TV version of Rogers and Hammerstein's Cinderella (1965), revival of Dinner at eight (1966) and Funny Girl (1968). He also starred in radio dramas in the 1940s and occasionally on TV in the 1960s and 1970s mostly as a guest on talk shows.

He died September 25, 1984, at St. John's Medical Center, Santa Monica, CA. following a series of strokes.

(Verse 1)
Gone is the romance that was so divine.
'Tis broken and cannot be mended.
You must go your way,
And I must go mine.
But now that our love dreams have ended...

What'll I do
When you are far away
And I am blue
What'll I do?

What'll I do?
When I am wond'ring who
Is kissing you
What'll I do?

What'll I do with just a photograph
To tell my troubles to?

When I'm alone
With only dreams of you
That won't come true
What'll I do?

(Verse 2)
Do you remember a night filled with bliss?
The moonlight was softly descending
Your lips and my lips were sealed with a kiss
A kiss with an unhappy ending...

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