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GUS KAHN  

(1886 - 1941)

Gustav Gerson Kahn
Lyricist
(1886-1941)

Gus Kahn was born in Germany and came as a child to Chicago where he began his musical career writing for vaudeville. A prolific lyricist, Kahn was versatile and had a poet’s turn of phrase. Eddie Cantor and Al Jolson popularized many of his songs: “Pretty Baby” (1915), “Toot, Toot, Tootsie (Goodbye)” (1921), “Yes, Sir, That’s My Baby” (1925) and “Makin’ Whoopee”(1928), the last two written with Walter Donaldson. Kahn and Donaldson produced a string of hits, including the torch song associated with Ruth Etting, “Love Me or Leave Me”(1928), that became a movie of that title starring Doris Day as Etting (1955).

His association with Isham Jones was equally successful and produced “It Had to Be You” (1924) which Johnny Mercer called “the greatest popular song ever written.” It has appeared in over 40 films, including Casablanca, Annie Hall, and When Harry Met Sally. Another huge hit was “I’ll See You in My Dreams” (1924) which became the title of a 1951 movie biography of Kahn, played by Danny Thomas with Doris Day as his wife. Howard Alden dubbed the song on guitar for Sean Penn in 1999’s Sweet and Lowdown.

While some of his songs may seem dated, Kahn’s work still crosses musical boundaries. “Dream a Little Dream of Me” (1931), for instance, was introduced by the Wayne King orchestra, popularized by Kate Smith, picked up by Frankie Laine in 1950, recorded by both Louis Armstrong and the Mamas and Papas in 1968, and appeared on the soundtrack of Beautiful Thing (1996).

-- Sandra Burlingame

Courtesy of JazzStandards.com


View by Role: Non-Classical Composer | Lyricist
Role: Non-Classical Composer 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 
ARMSTRONG, Louis: Rhythm Saved The World (1934-1936) (Louis Armstrong, Vol. 3) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120676
Jazz
BRITISH DANCE BANDS, Vol. 3 (1928-1949) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120656
Nostalgia
DORSEY, Tommy: Swing High (1936-1940) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120632
Jazz
ELLINGTON, Duke: Echoes of Harlem (1936-1938) (Duke Ellington, Vol. 4) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120682
Jazz
GARLAND, Judy: Over the Rainbow (1936-1949) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120563
Nostalgia
HOLIDAY, Billie: Easy Living (1935-1939) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120545
Nostalgia
LOUISE BELLSON QUINTET: Amazing Artistry of Louis Bellson (1954) Naxos Jazz Archives
9.81202JZ
Jazz
LYNN, Vera: The Early Years, Vol. 1 (1936-1939) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120537
Nostalgia
MILLER, Glenn: Glen Island Special (1938-1942) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120746
Jazz
PINZA, Ezio: Some Enchanted Evening (1949-1954) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120643
Nostalgia
REINHARDT, Django: Django Reinhardt (1938-1939) (Reinhardt, Vol. 2) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120575
Jazz
REINHARDT, Django: H. C. Q. Strut (1938-1939) (Reinhardt, Vol. 5) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120707
Jazz
STARS of the GOLDEN ERA Naxos Nostalgia
8.120754-55
Nostalgia
TATUM, Art: Fine And Dandy (1937-1944) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120730
Jazz
THEMES OF THE BIG BANDS: Drifting and Dreaming (1934-1945) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120579
Jazz
VAUGHAN, Sarah: Come Rain or Come Shine (1949-1953) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120773
Jazz
VAUGHAN, Sarah: Trouble Is A Man (1946-1948) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120763
Nostalgia
WHITEMAN, Paul: Paul Whiteman and His Dance Band Naxos Nostalgia
8.120511
Nostalgia
YOUNG, Lester: Lester Leaps Again (1942-1944) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120764
Jazz
Role: Lyricist 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 
CROSBY, Bing: Some of These Days (1931-1933) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120562
Nostalgia
DAVIS JR, Sammy: Hey There (1949-1955) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120833
Nostalgia
FITZGERALD, Ella: Ella And Company (1943-1951) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120765
Jazz
GERSHWIN, G.: 'S Wonderful - Songs of George Gershwin (1929-1949) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120828
Nostalgia
GOODMAN, Benny: Sing Me a Swing Song (1935-1936) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120548
Jazz
HITS OF THE 1920s, Vol. 2 (1921-1923) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120841
Nostalgia
HOLIDAY, Billie: Trav'lin' Light (1940-1944) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120701
Jazz
JAZZ FOR YOU - CHILL WITH FITZGERALD (1936-1952) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120893
Jazz
JONES, Spike: Musical Depreciation with Spike Jones (1942-1950) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120679
Nostalgia
JURMANN, W.: Chansons (Belakowitsch) Orlando Records
OR0003
Film and TV Music
LYNN, Vera: The Early Years, Vol. 1 (1936-1939) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120537
Nostalgia
MCCORMACK, John: McCormack Edition, Vol. 8: The Acoustic Recordings (1918-1920) Naxos Historical
8.112056
Vocal
MONROE, Marilyn: Original Recordings (Love, Marilyn) (1953-1958) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120891
Nostalgia
VAUGHAN, Sarah: Trouble Is A Man (1946-1948) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120763
Nostalgia




 
 
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9:17:26 PM, 20 August 2014
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