Remembering Shirley Temple’s magical musical moments


Shirley Temple Black, 85, who died Monday at her home in Woodside, Calif., sang and danced away Depression-era blues in a series of 1930s heartwarming musicals.

Some of the top composers of the day including Richard Whiting, Harry Revel, Mack Gordon and Jimmy McHugh penned the songs for her uplifting films. She worked alongside legendary performers such as song-and-dance-man Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, Alice Faye, Jack Haley, Bert Lahr, Joan Davis, Buddy Ebsen and Frank Morgan.

Temple’s best known songs are “On the Good Ship Lollipop” from 1934’s “Bright Eyes,” and “Animal Crackers in My Soup” from 1935’s “Curly Top,” but her films were filled with memorable tunes, including:


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“Baby, Take a Bow”: Temple is at her most adorable performing this tune from one of her earliest films, 1934’s “Stand Up and Cheer!”

“When I Grow Up”: This delightful little tune from “Curly Top” has been overshadowed by “Animal Crackers,” but it’s one of the highlights of the film.

“Polly Wolly Doodle”: Temple’s best on-screen musical partner was Robinson. A tap virtuoso, the veteran star seemed to bring out the best in Temple in the 1935 film “The Littlest Rebel,” which included the traditional tune “Polly Wolly Doodle” and their “Turkey in the Straw” tap-dance routine.

“My Old Kentucky Home”: Temple and Robinson are at their best in this classic tap routine on the stairs set to Stephen Foster’s standard in 1935’s “The Little Colonel.”

“At the Cod Fish Ball”: Though the 1936 movie “Captain January” drips with sentimentality, the movie is worth watching for this happy-go-lucky number between the diminutive actress and the tall, lanky Ebsen. The film also features Temple performing the sweet ballad “The Right Somebody to Love.”

“When I’m With You”: The 1936 musical comedy “Poor Little Rich Girl,” which also starred Haley and Faye, is a treasure trove of songs and dance routines including the show-stopping “Military Man.”

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“Goodnight, My Love”: Temple and co-star Faye get to sing this lovely ballad in 1936’s “Stowaway.”

“Come and Get Your Happiness”: Temple performs this uplifting tune in 1938’s “Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm.”

“Swing Me an Old-Fashioned Tune”: Temple performs this peppy song in the otherwise forgettable 1938 film “Little Miss Broadway.”

“I’d Love to Walk in the Rain”: Temple and Robinson are reunited for this upbeat number from 1938’s “Just Around the Corner.”

“Fifth Avenue”: “Young People” was a box office failure in 1940, but the musical melodrama features this terrific song performed by Temple and veterans Jack Oakie and Charlotte Greenwood. The trio also shine in “Tra-La-La-La.”


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