American Popular Song Lyricists

Oral Histories, 1920s–1960s

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SKU: 9780786465385 Categories: ,

About the Book

In this volume (a companion to American Popular Song Composers), 39 leading American lyricists from the Tin Pan Alley, Hollywood and Broadway of the 1920s to the 1960s discuss their careers and share the stories of creating many of the most beloved songs in American music. Interviewed for radio in the 1970s, they include such writing teams as Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne, Betty Comden and Adolph Green, and Jay Livingston and Ray Evans, and such individuals as Harold Adamson, E.Y. Harburg, Gus Kahn, Leo Robin and Paul Francis Webster. Photographs and rare sheet music reproductions accompany the interviews.

About the Author(s)

Michael Whorf is a veteran broadcaster, producer and writer, widely known for his 39-year tenure with Detroit radio station WJR. A recipient of the George Foster Peabody Award, he was inducted into the Michigan Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2008.

Bibliographic Details

Michael Whorf
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 239
Bibliographic Info: 38 photos, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6538-5
eISBN: 978-0-7864-9061-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      ix

Preface      1

Introduction      5

1 Lee Adams 1924–      9

2 Stanley Adams 1907–1994      15

3 Harold Adamson 1906–1980      21

4 Alan Bergman 1925– and Marilyn Bergman 1929–      27

5 Johnny Burke 1908–1964      33

6 Irving Caesar 1895–1996      38

7 Sammy Cahn 1913–1993      44

8 Betty Comden 1919–2006 and Adolph Green 1915–2002      49

9 Joe Darion 1917–2001      56

10 Hal David 1921–      61

11 Mack David 1912–1993      65

12 Ervin Drake 1919–      70

13 Milton Drake 1912–2006      76

14 Edward (Eddie) Eliscu 1902–1998      82

15 Ray Evans 1915–2007 and Jay Livingston 1915–2001      87

16 L. Wolfe Gilbert 1886–1970      94

17 Bud Green 1897–1981      99

18 Oscar Hammerstein II 1895–1960      104

19 E. Y. (“Yip”) Harburg 1898–1981      111

20 Tom Jones 1928– and Harvey Schmidt 1929–      117

21 Irving Kahal 1903–1942      122

22 Gus Kahn 1886–1941      127

23 Carolyn Leigh 1926–1983      132

24 Sammy Lerner 1903–1989      138

25 Herb Magidson 1906–1986      145

26 Johnny Mercer 1909–1976      149

27 Irving Mills 1894–1985      157

28 Mitchell Parish 1900–1993      166

29 Don Raye 1909–1985 and Gene De Paul 1919–1985      172

30 Leo Robin 1900–1984      178

31 The Tobias Brothers: Harry 1895–1994, Charles 1898–1970 and Henry 1905–1997      184

32 Paul Francis Webster 1907–1984      190

Epilogue—The Old Ones Are Still Being Played: Golden Age Songs in Films and Television, 1998–2010      197

Bibliography      215

Index      217