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Jimmy Van Heusen: Swingin’ in the Desert with Frank & Bing–Film and Panel Discussion

Meet Jimmy Van Heusen, the composer more swingin' than Sinatra! A look at the glamorous life and remarkable music of the four-time Oscar-winning songwriter who spent decades in Palm Springs.

$18 (1.5 hrs)

Category: Film, Presentation, Talk, Annenberg Theater

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Jimmy Van Heusen’s love affair with the desert began in 1940 when, on the way from New York to Hollywood to write songs for Bing Crosby, he stepped out of his small plane to refuel at a remote airstrip in Palm Springs and immediately knew it was where he wanted to be.  In the coming years, Crosby, Sinatra, and many other celebrities would follow Jimmy to his desert paradise.
His songwriting genius produced four Academy Awards, multiple Emmy and Grammy Awards, and many timeless melodies for the Great American Songbook. His collaboration with Frank Sinatra resulted in all-time hits such as “Swinging on a Star”, “Love and Marriage”, “Come Fly With Me”, “High Hopes” and “All The Way”, music that helped to define a generation.
Van Heusen and Frank Sinatra's friendship extended beyond their musical collaborations. They became close friends, often spending time together in Palm Springs. Van Heusen lived a lavish lifestyle, enjoying the perks of his successful career and the glamorous Palm Springs scene.
This event is a look at the life and music of the high-flying songwriter in a screening of the documentary Jimmy Van Heusen–Swingin’ with Frank & Bing. The film features excerpts from the Hollywood classics that debuted Van Heusen’s award-winning songs written with lyricist greats Johnny Burke and Sammy Cahn, along with appearances by Frank Sinatra, Jr., Shirley MacLaine, Angie Dickinson, Tony Bennett, and Paul Williams, among others, and includes archival performance footage of Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, and Judy Garland.
The film will be followed by a discussion led by the film’s director Jim Burns and feature rare photos and visuals from the jet set 50s and Rat Pack days when Jimmy Van Heusen and Frank Sinatra created classics of the American soundtrack. He’ll be joined by Brook Babcock, grandnephew of Jimmy Van Heusen.
Jim Burns directed and co-produced the PBS documentary Jimmy Van Heusen–Swingin’ with Frank & Bing. Another of Burns’ music films, She’s Got Jazz, features four trailblazing women who are electrifying audiences and changing the face of jazz in the 21st century. He is the creator, producer and director of the Jazzed About It series of short films spotlighting outstanding young performers that has been recognized with Best Web Series awards at film festivals in New Orleans and Los Angeles. Burns is currently producing and directing a documentary about renowned sculptor Carolyn Palmer, whose acclaimed works range from historical figures to the statue of Frank Sinatra unveiled in 2022 in the entertainment icon’s hometown of Hoboken, New Jersey.
Brook Babcock is the grandnephew of Jimmy Van Heusen. He is the president of Van Heusen Music Corporation in Nashville, where he also lives, and administers a catalog of over 1,000 active song titles by Jimmy Van Heusen. Brook serves on the boards of directors of the Great American Songbook Foundation and the Nashville Jazz Workshop.


Things to Know
This event is for 12 and older.
The entrance to the Annenberg Theater is located behind the Annenberg Theater Box Office, adjacent to the Palm Springs Art Museum's North Parking Lot.
Ample free public parking is available in the multi-level public garage across from the Palm Springs Art Museum.
Handicap parking is available.
This event is wheelchair accessible.
The organizer of this event is Modernism Week.

Event Check-in Location
Annenberg Theater
Palm Springs Art Museum
101 N Museum Dr
Palm Springs, CA 92262
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Photo Credits: Burns Media Productions, Inc. – Jimmy Van Heusen Archives

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