1948 Best Original Song - Doris Day's Delightful Debut

WON: "Buttons and Bows," The Paleface

SHOULD'VE WON: "It's Magic," Romance on the High Seas

What a supreme pleasure it is listening to the legendary Doris Day, in her film debut in Michael Curtiz's underrated musical Romance on the High Seas, singing "It's Magic," yet another beautiful composition from the Jule Styne-Sammy Cahn team. The song and its scene are glorious Technicolor magic. It simply had to be inevitable at the time that Day was about to become an incredible big screen star.

Alas, "It's Magic," while indeed a tremendous breakthrough for Day, did not win Best Original Song in 1948. Instead, the prize went to "Buttons and Bows," an amusing but awfully slight Bob Hope tune from his comedy western The Paleface, which has largely gone forgotten and for understandable reason - it's just not that terribly funny, particularly in comparison with the rest of his filmography. It's a bit of a curious win, especially considering the competition.

Another nominee, "This Is the Moment," is really terrific too - a lush, romantic duet for Betty Grable and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. "For Every Man, There's a Woman" is nicely performed by Tony Martin in Universal Studios' flop musical Casbah, but too short to leave much of an impact. "The Woody Woodpecker Song" is the clear weak link here, essentially just a recycling of the classic Woody Woodpecker laugh, complimented by some cheesy lyrics and vocals that leave the final product sounding like bad sitcom theme song.

The Oscar-winners ranked (thus far)...

  1. "Over the Rainbow," The Wizard of Oz (1939)
  2. "The Way You Look Tonight," Swing Time (1936)
  3. "You'll Never Know," Hello, Frisco, Hello (1943)
  4. "White Christmas," Holiday Inn (1942)
  5. "When You Wish Upon a Star," Pinocchio (1940)
  6. "Thanks for the Memory," The Big Broadcast of 1938 (1938)
  7. "On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe," The Harvey Girls (1946)
  8. "Lullaby of Broadway," Gold Diggers of 1935 (1935)
  9. "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah," Song of the South (1947)
  10. "It Might As Well Be Spring," State Fair (1945)
  11. "The Last Time I Saw Paris," Lady Be Good (1941)
  12. "Swinging on a Star," Going My Way (1944)
  13. "Sweet Leilani," Waikiki Wedding (1937)
  14. "The Continental," The Gay Divorcee (1934)
  15. "Buttons and Bows," The Paleface (1948)