'When My Baby Smiles at Me'
'When My Baby Smiles at Me'. Pop song composed in 1919 by the Montreal pianist Billy Munro. Ted Lewis and Andrew B. Sterling were credited as lyricists, though their contribution was later disputed. Composed in New York while Munro was a member of Lewis' dance band, the song was inspired by an unsmiling patron who frequented Renton's, the club where Lewis worked. Lewis, who would take the song (published by Harry von Tilzer) as his theme, introduced it in The Greenwich Village Follies of 1919 and recorded it for Columbia in 1920. It was also recorded by several other artists (some listed in Roll Back the Years) and heard in the films Hold That Ghost (1941) and Behind The Eight Ball (1942). As sung by Dan Dailey, it was the title song of a Hollywood film in 1948.
Munro (b British West Indies 1893, d Montreal 16 Oct 1969) studied in London and in 1913 moved to Montreal. There he played at the Jardin de danse in 1917, was a member of Andy Tipaldi's Melody Kings and recorded some songs, including his hit, for Apex. After his New York years (1919-23?) he returned to Montreal, where he composed a few songs with Willie Eckstein - eg, 'Music (Makes the World Go 'Round)' - or Don Davis to lyrics by Sam Howard. In later years his radio show 'Les Talents de Billy Munro' was broadcast on CKVL.