a name can be a tricky business. I, myself, was three months
old before I received a first name. It probably could have
taken longer, but for a threat from the keeper of records
in Milwaukee. An ominous letter from City Hall informed my
parents a name would be assigned to me if they didn’t
get going. “Jean, My Jean” was a popular song
my parents liked, and the words could have described me if
you stretched your imagination.
But no such luck presented itself when we sought a title for
the movie that was already cooking. We’d come up with
ideas and then decide they were pretty lame. So we shared
our dilemma with friends, and suddenly Jerl Suratt came up
with “How about ‘A Glad Day In Harlem?’”
It had a familiar ring. “Where did you get that?”
I asked, and he reminded me Duke Ellington had made a record
called “A Sad Day In Harlem.” I adored the tune,
but the lyric, as sung by Ivie Anderson, told such a depressing
story. I was about to throw in the towel, when our chum Charles
Graham stepped up to the plate, substituting “Great
Day” for “Glad Day” and we had what we hoped
would be a winner.
Since then, dozens and dozens of enterprises have helped themselves
to the title, or variations thereof. So, Jerl and Charles,
you must have been doing something right.