National Carry A Tune Week lifts up spirits with popular tunes. The free online event takes place the week of October 7th annually and is open worldwide. The purpose of the week is to prompt people to recall a popular tune that has a good meaning and produces a good feeling for them, and then to “carry” that tune all week to remember fond memories.
National Carry A Tune Week is the week surrounding October 7, the birthday of America’s first tune composer, William Billings, born in Boston, Massachusetts on October 7, 1746. October 7 was also the date that the popular program, YOUR HIT PARADE, was premiered on national TV in 1950. October 7 is also the birthday of songwriter Ralph Rainger (1901-1942). He wrote film songs, including “Love in Bloom” (1934), first recorded by Bing Crosby but later became Jack Benny’s theme song. He also wrote the Oscar-winning song, “Thanks For The Memory” that became Bob Hope’s theme song.
The American Tune Lovers Society opens a survey for people to suggest their favorite tune. The tunes are recorded in a growing list of favorites. People pick a favorite tune from school days, from a favorite song on the radio or elsewhere, from a love relationship, from a concert, in memory of a departed family member or friend, or from any other time. Since 2001 there have been 532 tunes chosen by web readers.
The tune must be American in origin and have been written or recorded before 2001. Why the tunes must be before 2001 and only from the U.S.A? The week was organized as a tribute to those lost during the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. So, organizers decided to have only American tunes written before 2001.
There are 6 categories of tunes: Patriotic, Folk, Religious, Pop, Classical and Film.
- Patriotic – band music, patriotic songs
“You’re A Grand Old Flag” (George M. Cohan)
“God Bless America” (Irving Berlin)
“The Stars and Stripes Forever March” (John P. Sousa)
- Folk – traditional folk, contemporary singer-songwriter
“Home On The Range” (Daniel M. Kelley)
“This Land Is Your Land” (Woody Guthrie)
” Midnight Special” (Huddie Ledbetter/ Leadbelly)
- Religious – sacred instrumental or vocal, spirituals, gospel music
“Amazing Grace” John Newton
“Go Down, Moses” (Spiritual)
“Nearer My God To Thee” (Lowell Mason)
- Pop – blues, jazz, easy listening, ethnic, country, rock, others
“Cold, Cold Heart” (Hank Williams)
“Solitude” (Duke Ellington)
“Someone To Watch Over Me” (George Gershwin)
- Classical – songs or arias, orchestral or other instrumental themes
“Fanfare For The Common Man” (Aaron Copland)
“Glitter and Be Gay” from CANDIDE (Leonard Bernstein)
“My Days Have Been So Wondrous Free” (Francis Hopkinson)
- Film – film score themes, movie songs
“As Time Goes By” from CASABLANCA (Herman Hupfeld)
“Love Me Tender” (Ken Darby)
STAR WARS (Main Theme) (John Williams)
HOW TO OBSERVE #CarryATuneWeek
Decide on a tune you’d like to carry for a week and submit it to organizers. you can select one favorite tune from any of the 6 tune categories. If you don’t know which category to place the tune in, just indicate the tune title and provide as much information as you can. Your personal remarks about the tune are encouraged but not required unless you wish to enter the contest to win a Free CD awarded for best comments. Send in your tune title anytime during Carry A Tune Week but no later than October 13, 2019. You can participate in the survey, too.
Follow the conversation with #CarryATuneWeek or #NCATW on social media. Here are even more ideas:
- Let loose with that favorite tune – belt it out, or at least hum it. And if it’s a little (or a lot) out of key? Embrace it!
- Can’t carry a tune? Sure you can. Even dogs can carry a tune, especially if they are from New Guinea.
- Teachers – why not assign your students to each select one favorite tune for Carry A Tune Week? Also, have them do some research to find out more about their tune.
- Musicians are encouraged to perform at least one American tune in commemoration of National Carry A Tune Week in their concerts.
NATIONAL CARRY A TUNE WEEK HISTORY
September 2001, ASCAP composer and music preservationist, Roger Hall, wanted to remember the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks through music. So he came up with the idea of asking music lovers to select tunes for a week of remembrance to be celebrated in October.
Since 2001 more than 500 tunes have been chosen.
The week is promoted by the American Tune Lovers Society (ATLS) who also runs the annual survey of submitted tunes. ATLS is an online group designed to help preserve and protect past American tunes through research information, recordings, and other information.