Joseph Clinton Million, my grandfather, died in 1975. I was four years-old; far too young to really remember him, let alone know him. What I do remember is a song; a song he sang to his children, a song my mother sang to me.
Before he died, my grandfather transcribed the lyrics of that song for my mother. While I had the lyrics of the song, I knew nothing else about it. I’d never heard it sung outside of my family. I had no idea who wrote it, who sang it or when it was written.
Shorty before my nephew was born, I decided to do some research and see if I could find out more about the song. I turned to, what else, the internet. It was slow going, but my break through came when I discovered the song I knew as A Tiny Turned Up Nose was actually titled That Little Boy of Mine.
My research turned up over twenty artists who have recorded That Little Boy of Mine, and it seems to have become a standard for early Country music singers; Rex Allen, Gene Autry, Eddy Arnold and Bonnie Owens to name a few. I have been able to track down several of those recordings. I have also been able to acquire various versions of the sheet music from eBay.
This site is a tribute to Joseph Clinton Million, my grandfather, a man I barely knew, but, who through this song, will always be a part of me.
That Little Boy of Mine, copyrighted in 1929 by the Milton Weil Music Co. of Chicago, Ill., was written by Benny Meroff, Wayne King and Walter Hirsch. While it appears this is the only time these three collaborated together; separately they all had distinguished careers.
Benny Meroff and his orchestra, which at one time included big band legend, Benny Goodman, appeared in several Vitaphone movie shorts. He his mainly remembered for his popular hit, Happy Days are Here Again.
Wayne King, a popular 1930s bandleader, has been compared to Lawrence Welk and Fred Waring. Known as the “Waltz King,” his repertoire was made up of waltzes, novelty songs and sentimental recordings. Some of his popular hits include: Josephine, Dream a Little Dream of Me, and I Don’t Know Why (I Just Do).
Walter Hirsch was a prolific lyricist during the 1920s and especially the 1930’s. A few of his most popular hits include: At a Table in a Little Cafe, Bye Bye Baby and ’Deed I Do.
In 1932, copyright for That Little Boy of Mine was transfered to Forster Music Publisher Inc., also of Chicago, Ill.