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The working title of the picture was When Irish Eyes Are Smiling. The film is loosely based on the life of composer Ernest R. Ball (1878-1927), who achieved immense popularity with his sentimental ballads. Ball studied at the Cleveland Conservatory before moving to New York City, where he worked in vaudeville and then as a composer at a music publishing company. He achieved great success with his songs and vaudeville performances, and wrote scores for several Broadway musicals. Ball, who was married twice, had three children with his first wife.
According to Hollywood Reporter news items, Vivian Blaine was originally set to star in the film. According to a studio press release, quoted in a Hollywood Reporter news item, director Gregory Ratoff was assigned to the picture "because of his knowledge of Irish folklore and his collection of clay pipes." The picture marked the feature-film debuts of Metropolitan opera singers Blanche Thebom and Leonard Warren. Alfred Newman received an Academy Award nomination in the Music (Scoring of a Musical Picture) category. On March 15, 1948, Lux Radio Theatre presented a radio broadcast of the story starring Dick Haymes and Jeanne Crain.