Night in Rome Plus Girl Back Home Still Leaves Music Publishers Frigid
When Don Mishara, maestro selected to do the musical honors for the Lowell House dance this Friday, breaks into the strains of "Lost Without You" by Walter P. Burrier '50, it will doubtless bring a wistful tear into the eye of the author.
Wistful--because the student composer is still trying to get his song published, and a tear, because like most products of amatuer composition, this particular melody is not lost for a story.
"Lost Without You" has all the ingredients of an American Pullman Company advertisement. In the outskirts of Rome on an abandoned cathedral organ balanced on its wobbliest side by an empty bottle of chianit wine, Hurrier found the atmosphere complete for his first chapsodie creation. The inspiration, he says, was back in Mesdeville, Pa, a certain Mary Margaret White.
"I've sold the tune to the girl," says Burrier, "and now all I have to do is put it over on a publisher." In reality, however, the road from Miss White's drawing room to the hit parade has already found some sympathetic professional ears.
Franco Mele, one of Rome's leading night club pianists, was struck to the core by the persuasive lilt of Burrier's song, and when $35 and a carton of American cigarettes was added to the call of the muse, he made a 9 piece arrangement of "Lost Without You."
The song caught on rapidly, and was a favorite in hot spots from Naples to Leghorn by the time Burrier left Italy in 1948. Back in Boston Burrier had a recording made by Preston Sandiford, a Negro pianist, which caught the attention of Wright Briggs, a pianist of Raykov's orchestra.
With Dottie Myles doing the vocalizing, Raykov played "Lost Without You" over WBZ, and thereafter it was taken up in turn by the Latin Quarter, the Sheraton, the Somerset, and the Bradford Rept.