about the title

Picking 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.
Jean Bach