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IRVING CAESAR  

(1895 - 1996)

Lyricist
(1895-1996)

Irving Caesar lived through the era of the great American song, when our music was exported and loved around the world, and through its demise, when great composers and lyricists became pass. He is quoted as saying, “…we have a form of musical juvenile delinquency abetted by adult delinquency.” He should know. He lived to 101.

Caesar was a Tin Pan Alley man and a friend of George Gershwin with whom he wrote his first hit, “Swanee” (1919). It didn’t catch on until Al Jolson took it over. Caesar’s next success was with Vincent Youmans. In an attempt to salvage No, No Nanette, they added “Tea for Two” and “I Want to Be Happy” to the 1925 show and it received rave reviews. They also wrote “Sometimes I’m Happy” for 1927’s Hit the Deck.

In 1928 Caesar wrote “Crazy Rhythm” with Joseph Meyer and Roger Wolfe Kahn, and in 1930 he gave English lyrics to a German tune, calling it “Just a Gigolo.” With Ted Koehler he also wrote “Animal Crackers in My Soup” for Shirley Temple’s film, Curly Top (1935). With Sammy Lerner’s music he created another Jolson hit in 1936, “Is It True What They Say About Dixie?”

During the ‘30s Caesar created a series of “songbooks” for children, intended as teaching aids—“Sing a Song of Safety,” “Songs of Health,” and “Sing a Song of Friendship”-- inspired by the efforts of the League of Nations and an urge to promote tolerance and unity. He tirelessly toured schools around the country with his message. His offer of the materials to the federal government was turned down, but they were later published by the Anti-Defamation League of the B’nai B’rith.

He served a cumulative 33 years on the Board of ASCAP, retiring in 1966, and was a founder of the Songwriters Guild of America.

-- Sandra Burlingame

Courtesy of JazzStandards.com

View by Role: Non-Classical Composer | Lyricist
Role: Non-Classical Composer 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 
CROSBY, Bing: Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams (1927-1931) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120697
Nostalgia
HAWKINS, Coleman: Hawk In the 30s (1933-1939) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120626
Jazz
Jazzin Legeanat - 60 kaikkien aikojen klassikkoa Naxos Jazz Legends
8.103014
Jazz
KING COLE TRIO: Transcriptions, Vol. 3 (1939) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120629
Jazz
LEWIS, Ted: Is Everybody Happy? (1923-1931) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120770
Jazz
McCONNELL: So Very Rob: Boss Brass Revisited SWR Klassik
CD93.107
Contemporary Jazz
REINHARDT, Django: Americans in Paris (1935-1937) (Reinhardt, Vol. 7) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120734
Jazz
REINHARDT, Django: H. C. Q. Strut (1938-1939) (Reinhardt, Vol. 5) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120707
Jazz
TATUM, Art: Fine And Dandy (1937-1944) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120730
Jazz
TATUM: Improvisations Naxos
8.559130
Instrumental
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE RESERVE DIXIE EXPRESS: Reserved for You Altissimo
75442270322
Contemporary Jazz
WALLER, Fats: Transcriptions (1935) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120577
Jazz
WILSON, Teddy: I Want to Be Happy (1944-1947) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120538
Jazz
YOUNG, Lester: Lester Leaps Again (1942-1944) Naxos Jazz Legends
8.120764
Jazz
Role: Lyricist 
Album Title
Catalogue No  Work Category 
BRITISH DANCE BANDS, Vol. 1 (1930-1943) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120603
Nostalgia
GARLAND, Judy: Over the Rainbow (1936-1949) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120563
Nostalgia
ULTIMATE VOCAL COLLECTION (THE) Naxos Nostalgia
8.120863-64
Nostalgia
VAUGHAN, Sarah: Live in '58 and '64 (NTSC) Naxos
2.119004
Jazz DVD




 
 
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