[Countee Cullen; Arna Bontemps; Countee Cullen:] Come Rain or Come Shine. Edward Gross presents St. Louis Woman.
Sheet music for a song from Act I of the 1946 all-Black musical St. Louis Woman. The musical is based on the novel God Sends Sunday by Harlem Renaissance poet and novelist Arna Bontemps.
It was adapted for the stage by Bontemps and Countee Cullen. “Cullen was considered one of the most notable voices of the Harlem Renaissance, his writings appealing to both black and white readerships.” [Metzger, Black Writers]
The show immediately attracted negative attention. Countee Cullen died unexpectedly weeks before the show opened in New York, Walter White, Executive Secretary of the NAACP, attacked the musical for “offering roles that detract from the dignity of our race,” and starring actor Lena Horne quit the cast.¹ Indeed, stereotypical cover art here shows a Black couple doing the minstrel show dance, the cake walk, a notable part of the plot.
The music for “Come Rain or Come Shine” was composed by Harold Arlen with lyrics by Johnny Mercer, both white. Black singers who subsequently recorded “Come Rain or Come Shine” include Billie Holliday, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, Etta James, and others.
Description: [Countee Cullen; Arna Bontemps; Countee Cullen:] Come Rain or Come Shine. Edward Gross presents St. Louis Woman.
New York: A-M Music Corporation, (1946). 5,pp. Sheet Music. 12 x 9 inches. Bifolium with inserted leaf. Illustrated cover. Near Fine.
Note. 1. Stories of Standards: "Come Rain or Come Shine" - KUVO accessed online.