Tuesday, January 27, 2015

jerome kern

Jerome David Kern

(January 27, 1885 – November 11, 1945)

This prolific composer helped to define popular music through dozens of Broadway shows and Hollywood musicals.  Born in New York City, he learned piano at an early age and was composing for stage shows while still in high school.  He studied at the New York College of Music, studying under private tutors in Heidelberg, Germany.  He visited London, where he met American impresario Charles Frohman, with whom he made a deal to write extra songs for British musicals coming to the US.  In 1915, he would miss the boat back to the US from London, oversleeping after staying out all night playing piano and poker.  The ship was the RMS Lusitania, which sank with Frohman on board.  

In the next five years alone, he composed sixteen musicals.  In 1925, he met Oscar Hammerstein II, with whom he would collaborate for years.  Their 1927 smash hit 'Show Boat' would change the focus of musical theatre from fanciful comedy to serious storytelling.  He began working in Hollywood musicals and had massive success, winning two Oscars and receiving many nominations.  He collapsed on November 5, 1945 from a cerebral hemorrhage while walking at the corner of Park Avenue and 57th Street.  Hammerstein was at his side when Kern's breathing stopped.  When Hammerstein hummed "I've Told Ev'ry Little Star" into Kern's ear and got no response, he knew Kern had died.  Kern's list of compositions include over seven hundred songs.  

"Ol' Man River",
 (music by Jerome Kern, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II) 
from Show Boat

"The Way You Look Tonight",
(lyrics by Dorothy Fields and Jimmy McHugh) 
featured in the film Swing Time
won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1936

"The Last Time I Saw Paris" 
(lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II)
Academy Award for Best Original Song
from Lady Be Good

 "How'd you like to spoon with me?" 

"Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man",
 music by Jerome Kern, and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, from Show Boat

"A Fine Romance",
composed by Jerome Kern with lyrics by Dorothy Fields, published in 1936.
 written for the musical film, Swing Time
Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

"Smoke Gets in Your Eyes",
 written by Jerome Kern and lyricist Otto Harbach for their 1933 musical Roberta.

"All the Things You Are",
 composed by Jerome Kern, with lyrics written by Oscar Hammerstein II.

"Long Ago (and Far Away)"
music by Jerome Kern, lyrics by Ira Gershwin.  
sung by Rita Hayworth to Gene Kelly in the 1944 Technicolor film musical Cover Girl 

Gene Kelly and Rita Hayworth - Long Ago and Far... by wizardess

"Dearly Beloved"
Oscar-nominated tune written by Jerome Kern and Johnny Mercer

"Can't Help Singing"
Jerome Kern and EY Harburg

 "More and More"
 (lyrics by E. Y. Harburg) 

"All Through the Day"
 (lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II) 

 "Who (stole my heart away)?") written for the Broadway musical Sunny by Jerome Kern, Otto Harbach and Oscar Hammerstein II.

"'Til The Clouds Roll By"

 "I've Told Ev'ry Little Star"
 (lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II) 

'Show Boat'
full film from 1951
 based on the stage musical of the same name by Jerome Kern (music) and Oscar Hammerstein II (script and lyrics), and the 1926 novel by Edna Ferber.

"Til The Clouds Roll By"
full film
1946 fictionalized biography of composer Jerome Kern,  who died before it was completed.

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