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Posted by on May 15, 2019 in Arts & Entertainment, Passages | 0 comments

Doris Day, R.I.P.

When Doris Day died on 13 May 2019 at the age of 97, plenty of Americans didn’t know who she was.

Yet, to the WWII generation, she was a singing icon.

That’s because her first hit song Sentimental Journey (released in 1945) became associated with American military personnel returning home at the end of WWII.

E.J. Hill writes, “The lyrics of that song, of longing and reunion, was the perfect soundtrack for the return home of the millions of servicemen who had done their duty.”

The popularity of the song was highlighted when a B-17G Flying Fortress was named Sentimental Journey.

“Sentimental Journey” (B-17G Flying Fortress), Arizona Commemorative Air Force Museum

Doris Day and Sentimental Journey were introduced to younger Americans via television when they were prominently featured in an episode of the TV series M*A*S*H. In the episode titled “Your Hit Parade” (Season 6, Episode 19), Radar entertains the staff of the 4077 by playing music records from the unit’s front office.

The Monster M*A*S*H Wiki states, “Radar’s marathon D.J. sessions ends around dawn, after the 23rd playing of Sentimental Journey, all requested by Col. Potter. The colonel reveals that he fell in love with Doris Day as a younger man & has seen every one of her movies- alone. However, after 23 consecutive plays, Potter admits that he is finally ‘sick and tired’ of Doris- and puts the record away.” states, “Interestingly, despite hearing Sentimental Journey three different times during this episode, we never once actually hear Doris Day singing, only the orchestra playing.”

For anyone who has never heard Sentimental Journey, here is a YouTube video featuring the song and photos of Doris Day as she appeared in the 1940s.

As popular as Sentimental Journey was, it wasn’t Doris Day’s signature song. That song is Que Sera Sera.

Featured Image in Public Domain