Music: British Bandman

Five years ago a blond young Briton ambled down London's Charing Cross Road, turned into Denmark Street (equivalent of Manhattan's Tin-Pan Alley), sought out a publisher who might be sympathetic. The young man had a tune to sell. He played it on the piano; the publisher asked its name. Ray Noble thought quickly. "Why, call it 'Goodnight, Sweetheart,' " he said. Thereupon Ray Noble's own name was made.

Never was a song more cruelly abused. Yet many realized that it was a rare, good tune in its smooth, nostalgic style. And it served to...

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