Numerous Irving Berlin songs highlight this musical about three entertainers in a romantic triangle.
On radio Jed Potter (Fred Astaire) tells his story that begins in the 1920s with "A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody." Jed dances with Mary (Joan Caulfield) and says he got her a role in a show, but she says no. Jed takes her to a nightclub, where she meets Johnny (Bing Crosby). He sings "I Got My Captain Working for Me Now." The three go to a party, where Nita (Olga San Juan) sings "You'd Be Surprised." Mary and Johnny say they like each other. Johnny sings "All By Myself" and dances with Mary. She changes her mind, takes the role, and in the new show sings "A Serenade to an Old-Fashioned Girl." Jed sings "Puttin' on the Ritz" and dances. Mary tells Jed that she wants to marry Johnny. She goes to his place he just sold, and he sings "I'll See You in C-U-B-A." Johnny tells Mary he is not cut out to be a husband. She walks out and gets in Jed's car.
A year later Johnny comes to a rehearsal. He and Jed perform "A Couple of Song and Dance Men." Jed shows Johnny a ring, and Johnny congratulates Mary. Jed asks her if she is over Johnny and takes her to his nightclub. Johnny is singing "You Keep Coming Back Like a Song." Johnny embraces Mary, and they get married. On a picnic Johnny sings "Blue Skies." Johnny opens new nightclubs in Cleveland, St. Louis, and New York. Johnny sees his baby girl and tells Mary he won't keep moving around. At his new nightclub Johnny sings "Everybody Step." Mary insists that he not sell. When he does sell the place, they separate and divorce.
In Chicago, Tony (Billy De Wolfe) plays a woman who drinks to celebrate her anniversary. Tony is glad to see Nita, and she asks Johnny to go see Mary. A chorus and Johnny sing "How Deep Is the Ocean?" Johnny visits his daughter and sings "Running Around in Circles." He learns that Mary is marrying Jed. Tony tells Mary and Jed that Johnny left town. In Detroit, Jed is drinking, and Mary is leaving the show. Nita sings "Heat Wave," and Jed dances. Jed falls off a platform, and on the radio he says that that ended his drinking and his dancing. Johnny sings "Any War Bonds?", "This Is the Army, Mr. Jones," and "White Christmas." Jed introduces Johnny, who sings "You Keep Coming Back Like a Song," and Mary comes in to join him.
While providing entertaining singing and dancing, this
musical explores how relationships can be difficult.