Music: Shilkret's Song

In the mid-twenties one of the most popular songs in the land was the lugubrious lament of a dispirited convict who wished he had the wings of an angel. Some 5,000,000 copies and phonograph records of The Prisoner's Song were sold. According to a myth as hollow as it was widespread, the composer was a condemned man awaiting execution in the death house of the Missouri or Texas or Oklahoma penitentiary. In Manhattan, around the all-night delicatessens where Broadway song pluggers and publishers gather for gossip and fun, it was always assumed that...

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