Never in 82-year-old Morton Block's wildest dreams did he think that his original song written for his wife, “My Love,” would become a hit or a viral TikTok sensation — let alone 64 years after he wrote it.
“My Love” was released on music streaming platforms on March 18. Two days later, Morton Block posted a TikTok video that included 16 mm film footage of Susan Weber, his wife of 62 years, on their honeymoon in Miami Beach, underscored by his newly released song.
That video has amassed a whopping 1.5 million views, and has sent streaming numbers for “My Love” skyrocketing on music platforms.
But what some listeners may not know is that he wrote this song decades ago, while on active duty in the Navy.
In 1958, Morton Block, who was actively enlisted in the Navy, was on leave in Atlantic City, New Jersey. When he saw Weber on that fateful weekend, he knew she was "it," and the two began writing letters to each other while he was away on deployment.
Music had been a part of his life since he was a child, so he brought his trumpet with him when he traveled.
"I had this melody in my mind and I had been working on it for a while," he told TODAY.
One night while out at sea, he decided his jazzy melody needed words — and what better lyrics to add than the words of his heartfelt letters to Weber?
"Susan wasn't really sure it was me, but I was sure it was her," he said. Even still, he started all of his letters to her with a simple phrase: "I miss you more each day since you've gone away." These are the same words "My Love" begins with.
From there, Morton Block had his song and would perform it occasionally in front of friends while away on deployment, never thinking something would come of it. He continued to play it for Weber throughout their relationship, and later, his kids and grandkids.
Weber expressed to TODAY that the song means much more to her now than it did when he showed it to her all those years ago.
"It means a lot to me now. I think back and, you know, a lot of things that happen when you're younger mean much more to you today. This song shows me Mort's feelings ... how he felt about me then," she said.
How 'My Love' became a viral hit
Enter Matt Block, grandson of Morton Block, who is a co-owner of La Reserve Records, a jazz label based out of New York — and who, one day, decided he wanted to make something more serious out of his grandfather's tune.
Morton Block said he and Matt Block have clicked musically since his grandson was old enough to pick up a trumpet.
"Music's always been one of the most important things in my life, thanks to (my grandfather)," Matt Block told TODAY. "I always knew of this tune. We would play it by ear all the time."
One year, while traveling back home to Pennsylvania for the holidays, Matt Block discovered that his grandfather had scored "My Love" on Finale, a music software program.
"My Love" subsequently went through stages of production, and Morton Block, Matt Block and the rest of their team began composing and producing "just for fun."
"We didn't really do this to, you know, have a hit record," Matt Block said. "The whole record was made with really close friends and a lot of people that my grandfather knows."
As "My Love" was closer and closer to being finalized and released, Matt Block encouraged Morton Block to make a TikTok account for himself to help with publicity for the song. Morton Block began making TikToks about his Navy experiences, videos of him playing trumpet and other related content — and he created a small following for himself, posting consistently.
Success of 'My Love' 'blew my mind'
Since Morton Block posted the 16 mm film footage TikTok that featured "My Love," his TikTok following has grown significantly, to 16,000 followers.
"It blew my mind to have anything take off," he explained.
Comments on the video prove to be nothing but positive, with people calling it "wholesome," "sweet" and "beautiful."
One user commented, "This music just automatically makes you reminisce for NO reason."
Another said, "This is amazing. It’s giving me Frank Sinatra vibes."
Weber was overwhelmed by the response, telling TODAY that the recognition on social media has even helped her and her husband reconnect with people from their past. "A second cousin found us, and old friends who knew us back then," she said.
Why did 'My Love' strike a chord on TikTok?
Morton Block hypothesizes that "My Love" took off because people are looking for a good story, and a love story is one that "touches everybody."
"The fact that I'm 82 years old has gotten a lot of attention," he added. "I really can't tell you what the average age of TikTokers are, but I can tell you it's not people who are 82 years old."
"There's a lot going on right now, and a lot of people who have been commenting have liked the positivity of the story," said Matt Block. "You don't see a lot of 82-year-olds and their grandsons putting out music these days, especially music with this much of a backstory."
What's next for Morton and Matt Block
The grandfather and grandson, along with their friends helping them in the studio, are now working to finish up their debut record, "Strange Harbors."
"The excitement, for me, is for my grandsons and for the growth of this label," Morton Block told TODAY. "Never in my wildest dreams did I think that this song from 1958 was going to get all this attention. But it's because of La Reserve and my grandsons."
Since the debut of "My Love," Matt Block and Morton Block have released the second single off the album, "Light & Airy," which is also an upbeat, big-band jazz tune.
They have been collaboratively writing the other songs that will be released on the album. They both said that when they can't be together in person, they'll send voice memos back and forth of different melodies, lyrics and jazz licks to see what they can create together.
Ultimately, Matt Block said, the album, which will have eight tracks on it, is about personal relationships — the good and bad ones.
"There are a few songs on the record that I wrote about pretty personal challenges," he said, like the title track, "Strange Harbors," which will be released in June.
The "Strange Harbors" album will be released Sept. 30.
"I'm in awe of what (my grandsons) have done. It's brought out a lot of family history, too, which made me realize that it's really important for your children and your grandchildren to know about you and what you were like back then," Weber told TODAY.
In the meantime, Morton Block said that he and Weber, even after all these years, will still share dances to "My Love" whenever they can.
This story first appeared on TODAY.com. More from TODAY: