Song goes viral 64 years after it was written by a seafarer in love

Morton “Mort” Block was in love with someone he met on the beach in Atlantic City in 1958, but he was afraid she wouldn’t feel the same way about it.

“I knew it was her — she was the one for me,” said Block, who was 19 at the time and an amateur trumpeter. “So I decided to write my feelings in a letter, and then I thought, ‘Why don’t I make it a song?’ †

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He never dreamed that 64 years later “My Love” would become a hit after his grandson urged him to record and release it on TikTok featuring the 1960s honeymoon footage of his wife, Susan Weber Block.

“It’s hard to put into words how incredible it is to drop my first single at the age of 82!” he captioned the images.

But before that happened, his grandson had to introduce him to TikTok.

‘TikTok! I had no idea what that was,’ Block said. “I thought it was something a clock did.”

The love song his grandson Matt Block, 31, recorded with a group of jazz musicians has been viewed more than 1.5 million times online since March 18, says Mort Block, who has amassed some 15,000 TikTok followers.

“It was a nice surprise to see my little song come full circle,” he said.

Block was a 19-year-old NCO, Third Class, aboard the USS Hazelwood destroyer in the North Atlantic when he sat on the deck to voice his thoughts on Susan Weber, then 17:

“I miss you more every day, since you’ve been gone – I long for your touch, I need you so much, my love…”

He eventually decided not to email Weber the number, and it turned out that extra courtship wasn’t necessary. She said yes to Block’s proposal when he came to Philadelphia on leave in 1959. The following year, they married after his active service in the Navy ended.

Block performed “My Love” several times for his new bride on his trumpet, before tucking the music and lyrics away in a drawer, where they remained for the next 60 years.

“I’ve played in several jazz bands and every now and then we played the song,” Block said. “I also played it on the piano during our marriage, but for the most part it became a beautiful family memory.”

It probably would have stayed that way.

In December 2013, Matt Block – who also plays trumpet – came to visit his grandparents at their home in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, about 40 miles from Philadelphia.

Matt runs Brooklyn-based jazz label La Reserve Records with his brother Jacob Block. Matt learned to play the trumpet from his grandfather at age 10, and they often have jam sessions together, he said.

When his grandfather decided to take the sheet music for “My Love” out of his drawer, Matt said he was floored and immediately felt the urge to share the song.

“I said, ‘Poppy, we need to put this out, we need to record it,’” he recalls.

In the years that followed, he and his grandfather continued to discuss the possibilities. Last summer, Matt and some jazz musician friends finished recording “My Love” and several other songs for an album. “Strange Harbors” will be released on September 30.

Matt also produced the album and recruited jazz vocalist Benny Benack III to sing the lyrics.

Then he persuaded his grandfather to start making TikTok videos about his life.

“Matt wanted me to create a persona and build a following,” said Mort Block. “Making the videos became a fun activity for a man in his eighties.”

He said he loved sharing stories about his time in the Navy and how to care for a trumpet and even his excitement at finally seeing success as a songwriter.

When “My Love” was released on March 18, Mort said he was delighted to hear that a legion of young TikTok fans were enjoying his debut single.

“This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing your gift,” commented one teenager.

“A little gave me hope that I’m never too old to start something,” wrote another.

“Susan and I couldn’t believe it when we first listened to it,” said Mort Block. “It was really emotional — it took us back to the day we met.”

“We found that the song has more meaning now that we’re older,” says Susan Block, 81. “The song is made special again.”

She vividly remembers the day Mort approached her on the beach in Atlantic City, where they were both on a Labor Day outing with friends. He asked if she could give him a date, which was common in their age group at the time, especially at beach bars, she said.

Susan thought about finding him a friend to dine with, but then changed her mind.

“I already said I was going to have dinner with someone else, but I thought… [Mort] was a better prospect than the one I was dating,” she said. “So I canceled that date and Mort drove me back to Philadelphia that night in his convertible.”

A year later, they went stable, but Susan — still a high school senior at the time — wasn’t ready to settle in, she said.

“He would come home on leave and get lost in his music, and we would go dancing and go to all the clubs in Philadelphia,” she said. “I didn’t want to be tied up, but eventually I changed my mind. We really fell in love.”

The couple raised two sons and she worked high school presentations on drug and alcohol abuse while he founded a kitchen and bathroom consultancy.

Now that they’re retired, they still regularly dance to Barry White and their own special song, Susan Block said.

“We especially love how the song has helped our grandchildren learn more about us and our lives,” she said.

“We are delighted that our grandsons are now enjoying their own success because of something I wrote in 1958,” added Mort Block. “Had it not been for Matt, I’m pretty sure ‘My Love’ would still be in the drawer.”

As for Matt, he said his grandfather’s musical prowess has inspired him for as long as he can remember, and he’s happy that others can now experience his Poppy’s talent.

“There’s a curiosity and energy that keeps both him and my grandmother young,” he said. “Their song, ‘My Love,’ feels like it was plucked from the 50s, but it’s also timeless. It sums up their love.”

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