Once in Love with Amy

  • The Song
  • Back Stories
composition date
Frank Loesser


In Where’s Charley, Ray Bolger led the audience in a rousing chorus of “Once in Love with Amy.” Producer Cy Feuer told the story of how the idea came to Bolger, “My son, Robert, seven years old at the time, and a friend of his, were taken to one of the first matinees by my wife, who arranged to have them seated down front by themselves. She waited for them in the back of the house. Bobby, of course, knew Ray Bolger from having met him at home, and Bobby also knew the song. When Ray came to ‘Once in Love with Amy’ in the second act, he either forgot the lyrics or pretended to forget them, and as a result, stopped the music and said to himself something to the effect of ‘I forgot the words’ or ‘What were the lyrics again?’ Bobby stood up and unselfconsciously reminded Ray of the lyric. The audience laughed and Ray of course didn’t know it was Bobby. In order to recover, Ray asked the little boy whether he would join him in singing. Bobby said he would, whereupon the two of them began to sing. Ray then urged the rest of the audience to join them, and so was born the community-sing spot which over a period of a couple of years evolved to about a fifteen-minute number, depending upon how long Ray felt like keeping it running.”

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