He wasn’t born on this day, and he didn’t die on this day — or even in this month. But I always associate this month with Walter Huston because of a long-owned 78 rpm record of SEPTEMBER SONG:
Walter Huston was an actor, not a singer, but his rendition of SEPTEMBER SONG is a definitive example (Jimmy Durante being another) of the ability to put over a song without having much of a voice. Here you sense a man who has lived the song, and — especially if you’re of a certain age — you find yourself (to paraphrase the words of a Cole Porter song) knowing all too well what they mean….
And what an actor he was. If I could recommend just one of his many films, it would be the 1936 classic DODSWORTH, for which both he and the movie received Academy Award nominations. But he is probably best remembered for his role in THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE, directed by his son, John (referenced in my July 29 post BEHIND THE SCENES). Here’s one of my favorite scenes:
SEPTEMBER SONG was composed by Kurt Weill for the 1938 stage show starring Walter Huston, KNICKERBOCKER HOLIDAY. Weill’s wife was Austrian-born actress and singer, Lotte Lenya; they had immigrated to America several years earlier. Here is her recording of the song: