Sheet music for “I’m Just Wild About Harry” from the musical Shuffle Along
Lyrics by Noble Sissle, Music by Eubie Blake (M.W. & Sons, 1921)
Shuffle Along was a 1921 Broadway musical comedy. It was groundbreaking in many ways, being the first all-Black written and performed Broadway production. Additionally, it is the first major theatrical production in America to positively portray Black romance. Written by Noble Sissle and Eubie Blake, it ran for more than 500 shows.
This show is also remembered for its breakout performance by Josephine Baker. Cast as a Happy Honeysuckle in one of the chorus lines, at the end of a number one night Josephine burst into a spontaneous comedic dance solo that was noticed by critics who sang her praises in the morning editions. A star, as they say, was born.
While you may not be familiar with the 1921 musical sensation Shuffle Along, you have likely heard this piece of music written for it:
I’m just wild about Harry,
And Harry’s wild about me.
The heavenly blisses of his
Kisses fill me with ecstasy.
He’s sweet just like sugar candy
And just like honey from a bee…
The popular tune – a Viennese Waltz shortened into a Foxtrot for comic appeal – became a theater, film, and later, television standard. It was sung by Judy Garland in Babes in Arms (1939), Carmen Miranda in Greenwisch Village (1944), Peggy Lee on her 1959 album I Like Men!, Jean Stapleton on The Muppet Show (episode 306, 1978), and many more over the years.