Aboiriginal Canadian legend, Broadway, Canadian Rockies, Herbert Stothart, Indian Love Call, longest running musical of the 1920s, Mary Ellis, men called down into valley to girls they wished to wed, Music, One Hit Wonder, operetta, Oscar Hammerstein II, Otto Harbach, Rose-Marie, Rudolf Friml, The Call
Indian Love Call
Indian Love Call (first published as The Call) is a popular song from Rose-Marie, a 1924 operetta-style Broadway musical with music by Rudolf Friml and Herbert Stothart, and book and lyrics by Otto Harbach and Oscar Hammerstein II. Originally written for actress and singer Mary Ellis, the song achieved continued popularity under other artists and has been called Friml’s best remembered work. The play takes place in the Canadian Rocky Mountains and features the sonorous tune in the overture and in Act One while the love interests call to each other per a supposed Aboriginal Canadian legend about how men would call down into the valley to the girls they wished to marry. In most (or all) versions of Rose-Marie, including the best-known movie version, the tune is reprised several times throughout the narrative. The musical was the longest running musical of the 1920s, enjoyed international success, and became the basis of four films with the same title. As the musical’s biggest hit, Indian Love Call outlived its origins. The song was said to have been a favorite of President Dwight D. Eisenhower.