JACK LAWRENCE (1912 - 2009)
Lyricist, Vocalist, Theater Owner
Jack Lawrence , who was also a singer, wrote lyrics to Frankie Carle’s “Sunrise Serenade” and to Hoagy Carmichael’s “Vagabond Dreams” (1938). The Ink Spots had a huge hit with “If I Didn’t Care” and “All or Nothing at All” (1938), written with Arthur Altman, was picked up by Harry James and became a hit for Frank Sinatra in 1943. Lawrence supplied lyrics for Clara Edwards’ “With the Wind and the Rain in Your Hair,” included on the soundtrack of Love Affair (1939). During WWII he organized service bands to entertain troops, and his “Heave Ho, My Lads, Heave Ho” became the official US Maritime Service song.
In 1945 he collaborated on “Symphony,” five recordings of which reached the top ten. In 1946 he wrote English lyrics for Charles Trenet’s beautiful “La Mer” which became “Beyond the Sea.” The song was recorded several times, almost reverentially, until young singer Bobby Darin got a hold of it. Lawrence himself says, “Darin, by adding an irresistible beat to the song, sent it on its way to stardom.” That same year he added lyrics to a waltz written by Walter Gross that became “Tenderly.” He gave the song to Sarah Vaughan and it became a jazz standard.
Lawrence wrote words and music for “Linda” (1946) and also collaborated on pop hits “Delicado” and “Poor People of Paris.” He scored a Broadway show in 1964 and became a theater owner in the ‘80s, producing Lena Horne: The Lady and Her Music and co-producing the play, Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean. His songs appear on the contemporary film soundtracks of Finding Nemo (2003), The Curse of the Jade Scorpion (2001) and The Shawshank Redemption (1984).
-- Sandra Burlingame
Courtesy of JazzStandards.com