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Your First Time

I was wondering when everybody's first memory of Howard was. (When you first found out about him, your first memory of seeing one of his films or musicals, etc.)

I don't remember when I first saw Beast, Aladdin, or Mermaid, but the first time I became aware of Howard Ashman was last November, when I watched the "Composing a Classic" discussion on the Diamond Edition of Beast, and then became a fan after watching the "Beyond Beauty" doc and listening to HSA.

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  • edited March 2012
    I wanted to post this for today (internet was down for most of the day, grr), it's kind of vague but it's probably my earliest memory,

    I remember watching Beauty & the Beast on VHS when I was four or five, watched it all the time. When I saw at the end 'Songs by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken', it made me feel good. Each time I saw the credits, seeing their names would give me the same feeling. I was obviously too little to express any lengthy and elaborate explanation of why I felt that way (like I'm doing now), but I just knew they did. I guess looking back, it was because their songs made me so happy. Yes, that's definitely why. No songs could make me smile the way their songs for 'Beauty could. I also remember being weirdly excited the first time I saw a photo of them, I finally put faces to the names! The more I learn about them, the more I love and adore them, especially Howard. I think these lyrics by Abba sum it up for me:

    Thank you for the music, the songs I'm singing
    Thanks for all the joy they're bringing
    Who can live without it, I ask in all honesty
    What would life be
    Without a song or a dance what are we
    So I say thank you for the music
    For giving it to me
  • I first became aware of Howard Ashman in the lead-up to the 1986 Little Shop being released. I got a copy of Cinefantastique magazine that had a very in-depth interview with him about the film and the play. So right from the start I knew who he was. When I saw the movie I was blown away, and really regretted not seeing the stage show when I was in New York the summer before. Something that still haunts me! LOL
  • I can't remember when I first remembered being aware of who wrote the songs, but I do remember when I kept watching "Part of Your World" over and over and over again, rewinding the video tape. Though, at the time I was just a kid so I watched it in Norwegian (because I'm Norwegian) so maybe that doesn't count because it was translated. I think it should, though. :P

    As a side-note, I actually don't like the translations that much now that I'm grown up (outside the obligatory nostalgic affections) because I prefer to listen to the original words the way Howard (or any other songwriter, it's universal) wrote them.
  • The first thing that came to mind for me, was the dedication at the end of 'Beauty and the Beast.' I then started to learn a little more about Howard, and grew really amazed when I sat down and listened to the songs he worked on, how great many of those lyrics were.

    Though of course, it wasn't until after his work on Disney's films did I realize his work on 'Little Shop.' I still remember a couple girls in middle school who were taking dance classes, and they did a routine to the opening theme of 'Little Shop.'

    Of course, 'The Music Behind the Magic' CD boxset also helped, notably in hearing how Howard would vocalize and just bring characters to life with his voice. I still listen to his version of 'Poor Unfortunate Souls' more than the final version.
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