Umphrey’s McGee

At each of their concerts, Umphrey’s McGee plays an improvisation song or two which they have named Jimmy Stewart. They took the name from a meeting room at the Renaissance Pittsburgh Hotel which was named after the Indiana, PA actor. Many different versions of this improvisation are available. None really has anything, other than its name, to do with Stewart. However, on their CD, Jimmy Stewart 2007 (SCI Fidelity Records UYCD12), the group finally recorded a track which explained the improvisation and the name.

Umphrey's McGee

The track is titled What is Jimmy Stewart? On this track they used a bit of Stewart’s appearance on the radio program, Screen Directors’ Playhouse on May 8, 1949. The play that evening was It’s a Wonderful Life. At the end of the program, Stewart and Frank Capra, who had directed the film, have a conversation, an edited version of which appears on the recording. Here is the entire track: