TOP   William B. Lava
b. March 18, 1911, St. Paul, MN, USA; d. 1971, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Often Credited As: Bill Lava and William Lava
This extremely prolific and capable film composer composer contributed scores to approximately 300 films, most of them (but not all)were Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck type cartoons. He matriculated from Northwestern University, where he edited the 'Northwestern Commerce Magazine', and was associate editor of the 'Purple Parrot'. He studied conducting with Albert Coates. In 1936, Lava began working in the Hollywood studios. Among the many musicians with whom he worked were Sammy Cahn, Max Steiner, Harry Tobias, Franz Waxman, Stan Jones, Frank Skinner, Ray Heindorf, and Henry Mancini. He also wrote some arrangments for network radio. One of his popular song compositions was "The Moonrise Song (It Just Dawned On Me)".

When Bill wasn't working on a Bug Bunny or a Daffy Duck cartoon, he would also while away his time contributing to such films as :
      Dracula Vs. Frankenstein (1971)
         aka Blood Seekers, The (1971)
         aka Blood of Frankenstein (1971)
         aka Revenge of Dracula, The (1971)
         aka Satan's Bloody Freaks (1971)
         aka Teenage Dracula (1971)
         aka They're Coming to Get You (1971)
      Monster on the Campus (1958 uncredited)
      Deadly Mantis, The (1957. aka: 'Giant Mantis, The' and 'Incredible Praying Mantis, The')
      "Zorro" (1957 TV Series)
      Revenge of the Creature (1955 uncredited)
      Abbott and Costello Meet the Keystone Kops (1955 uncredited)
      Phantom from Space (1953)
      Dick Tracy's G-Men (1939)
      Lone Ranger Rides Again, The (1939 uncredited)
      Night Riders, The (1939 aka: Lone Star Bullets)
      Dick Tracy Returns (1938)
      Lone Ranger, The (1938 uncredited)
      Red River Range (1938)
      Santa Fe Stampede (1938)
      Overland Stage Raiders (1938 uncredited)
and about 250 other films.

TOP   David Nessim Lawrence
Most often credited only as David Lawrence
This American composer has been active in film and TV. Among his credits are:
      Shrink Is In, The (2000)
      "Ed" (2000 TV Series. contributed additional music)
      Company Man (2000. aka: Company Man - in France)
      American Pie (1999. Also the orchestrator.)
      Hi-Life (1998)
      Dog's Best Friend (1997 TV)
      Alone in the Woods (1996)
      Moving Target (1996)
      Steel Sharks (1996)
      Great Mom Swap, The (1995 TV)
      Camp Nowhere (1994. Also the orchestrator.)
      Hits! (1994)
      Sleep with Me (1994)
      Skeeter (1993)
      "Beverly Hills, 90210" (TV Series with 20 episodes 1997-1998)

TOP   Jack Lawrence
b. April 7, 1912, New York (Brooklyn), NY, USA.
Jack Lawrence primarily wrote the song lyrics but occasionally composed the music as well. Most of his songs were produced from the early 1930's to the 1950's. It would be difficult to name a star of the 1930's through the '50's who had not sung or recorded one of Lawrence's songs; a few include Nat Cole, Bing Crosby, The Andrews Sisters, Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett and Billie Holiday. His musicals have played Broadway and his film songs have come from every major Hollywood studio. In fact, many of his songs have been responsible for creating overnight stars. Lawrence was also a good singer and appeared on several radio shows.

The third of four sons, Lawrence grew up in an orthodox Jewish family of modest means, and was already writing songs at a tender age, with virtually no musical training. Parental pressure caused his enrollment in the First Institute of Podiatry, and in 1932, he matriculated with a doctorate. However, that same year saw the publication of his first song, and he never again looked back to the practice of podiatry. He became a full time lyricist/composer.

Along with his song writing he has had a varied and well-rounded career in the worlds of entertainment, art and philanthropy. In the world of entertainment, Lawrence was actively engaged, during the 1880's, as a Broadway theater owner and producer. His two theaters were named the "Jack Lawrence" and the "Audrey Wood". During his many trips around the world, his interest in creative arts led to his acquisition of an important collection of Greek, Chinese, Japanese, Luristan, Roman, African and Pre-Columbian artifacts. His love of art also inspired him to acquire significant paintings and sculptures by such artists as Georgia O'Keeffe, Jules Pascin, Ben Shahn, Kuniyoshi, John Marin, Charles Sheeler, Jacob Epstein, Charles Demuth, Diego Rivera, Tamayo, Stuart Davis, Lyn Chadwick, Morris Graves and William Harnett. In addition to serving on the board of the 'Whitney Museum of American Art', Lawrence has arranged tours of his art collection throughout the United States, Europe, adn Israel. Jack also discovered and sponsored the first New York showing of a Chilean artist Claudio Bravo, who has since acieved international fame. In the world of philanthropy, Lawrence, along with another songwriter, Billy Rose, is a charter member of 'Friends Of The Israel Museum', where he also served on the board of trustees. Rose and Lawrence also helped create the incomparable 'National Museum in Jerusalem'. Jack's endowments have also benefited the 'Manhattan School of Music' and, the 'Danbury Hospital' (in Connecticut, where he now -2006- resides)and the Mark Twain Library.

Brief Chronology:
Some songs with both words and music by Lawrence, include:
      1932 "Play, Fiddle, Play" (His first song)
      "Johnson Rag", (A big hit for just about everybody.)
      "Yes, My Darling Daughter," which introduced Dinah Shore to the public via Eddie Cantor's weekly program and was her very first recording.
      1939 "If I Didn't Care" (Recorded by the then unknown Ink Spots, catapulting them to instant fame.)

Some songs co-composed by Lawrence and others include:
      "Percy Have Mercy", (music by Louis Prima)
      1939 "All or Nothing at All" (Music: Arthur Altman. Frank Sinatra's first big hit recording - popularized in 1943)
      1945 "Symphony" (Co-composed with Alex Alstone, Roger Bernstein, and Andre Gaston Isaac Tabet)
      1943 "Linda" (Words and Music by Lawrence)
      1943 "Tenderly" (Music: Walter Gross. A 'hit' in the mid-1950's for singer Rosemary Clooney)
      "Beyond The Sea" (co-composed with Albert Abraham Lasry, and Charles Trenet. A huge hit for singer Bobby Darin)
      1954 "Hold My Hand" (Music: Richard Myers. Nominated for an Oscar in 1954.)
      1956 "The Poor People of Paris", (added English lyric to original music by Marguerite A. Monnot, and Rene Gustave Rouzaud)
      "Better Luck Next Time", with music by Peter Tinturin
      "What's Your Story Morning Glory", (co-composed with Paul Francis Webster, and Mary Lou Williams)
      "Delicado", (Added English lyrics to the original music by Waldir Azevedo- , a hit for singer Dinah Shore.)
      "In An Eighteenth Century Drawing Room", (Added lyric to this music by Raymond Scott.)
      "With The Wind And The Rain In Your Hair" (Music by Clara Edwards. A hit for Pat Boone, Kay Kyser orch., and others.)
And.... perhaps a couple of hundred others. Many of his 'evergreens' are still played and sung today

TOP   Carolyn Leigh
b. August 21, 1926, New York, NY, USA. d. Nov. 19, 1981 New York, NY, USA.
While Carolyn did write with other composers, she is best recalled today as the lyricist with Cy Coleman.

Leigh was a graduate of New York city high schools and the Queens College of the City of New York. She also attended and graduated from New York University. At the tender age of nine, she was already writing verses and doggerel. As a young adult, her career started when she began writing announcements for New York radio station WQXR, and Ad Copy for one of the advertising agencies. It is said that she had already written over 200 un-published songs by the time she was 25 years old. But her luck was about to change.

      1951 "I'm Waiting For You", was recorded by Rosemary Clooney
      Lucky Millinder Orch., and later by singer Pat Boone.
      1954 "Young At Heart", was her first big hit song, written for
      Johnny Richards, it was a huge hit for Frank Sinatra.

Due to the success of "Young at Heart", she was offered a chance to work with composer Mark "Moose" Charlap, on the Broadway show 'Peter Pan', starring Mary Martin. Among their songs, are:
      "I'm Flying"
      "I Won't Grow Up"
      "I've Gotta Crow"

From the late 1950's to 1962, she teamed with composer Cy Coleman. Their relationship has been described as 'stormy'. (See the 'Cy Coleman entry for song listings.)Their last real collaborative effort was for the Broadway show 'Little Me', after which they had an 'On-Off' relationship.

In 1962, they wrote "A-Doodlin' Song", recorded by vocalist Peggy Lee.

In 1962, Leigh teamed with composer Elmer Bernstein, to score the Broadway show 'How Now, Dow Jones'. Next day, Dorothy Parker's press review of the show termed it "Standard and Poor". The show had such songs as:
      "Step to the Rear"
      "Live A Little"
      "He's Here"
      "Walk Away"

During the later years of her career, Leigh would occasionally write lyrics for some stage, television and film projects. She wrote for the TV Special 'Heidi', as well as contributing lyrics to the Bicentennial Show 'Something to Do'.

Some of her other lyrics are:
      "Stay With Me"
      "In the Barrio"
      "How Little It Matters", music by Jerry Livingston.
      "Bouncing Back For More"
      "Love is a Melody (Short and Sweet)"

Among the other composers with whom she worked, are: Marvin Hamlisch; Lee Pockriss and Morton Gould. Carolyn Leigh died in 1983, from a heart attack, while working on a musical adaptation of 'Smiles'.

TOP   Ernesto Lecuona
b. Aug. 6, 1895, Guanabacoa, Cuba; d. Nov. 29, 1963, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands
Here is a photograph of Ernesto Lecuona, who is a major, if not well-known, figure in the music of the 20th century. Curiously, although Lecuona wrote over 400 songs in virtually every form, including 50 theatrical pieces, 31 orchestral works, and 11 soundtracks for the cinema. His work includes everything from cantatas to piano pieces, but it is his songs that are by far the best remembered works. He is best remembered for his popular songs "Malaguena" and "Siboney", Among his other popular songs are the beautiful song
AUDIO  "Canto Indio", (441 kb) This beautiful song is also known as "Dust On The Moon". (m: Ernesto Lecuona, w: Stanley Adams, Don Walker ). This is a recording by 'The Castillians', in 1934, who chose to play it in a Foxtrot tempo, rather than a Rumba, in which it was originally composed. 'The Castillians' was still another name used by the Whittall's Anglo-Persians Orchestra, an orchestra under the leadership of Louis Katzman.
AUDIO   "Maria La O": (335 kb): Perhaps Ernesto Lecuona's best known Cuban Zarzuela.
AUDIO   "Devueleme El Corazon."; 264( kb): English title: "Give Me Back My Heart" (aka: "Living From Kiss To Kiss")
AUDIO   "The Breeze and I"; (191 kb): which BMI listed as a having received over one million airplays.
AUDIO   "La Comparsa"; (244 kb): Piano solo by Thomas Tirino in 2003 (live)

In 1942, Lecuona was nominated for an Academy Award for the music to the American film Always in My Heart, still he and his work have remained largely obscure to world audiences. Lecuona has that very rare distinction of having achieved success both as a 'classical' and as a 'popular' composer. His work, like George Gershwin in the United States, proved that classical and popular music could be combined and developed into a new musical genre that was unique to a people and to a nation. His "Damisela Encantadora" (a waltz)is grounded on the Cuban soul. He was able to foster the careers of many Latin musicians, and also brought the first successful Latin orchetra to the U.S.

Although his father was a newspaper editor, it is fair to say that Lecuona came from a musical family. All the siblings - 3 boys and 2 girls, were musicians. His eldest sister (a composer and teacher)taught him to play the piano. Ernesto himself was a child prodigy. He made his public debut at just age 5, and at age 17, received his certificate from the National Conservatory in Havana (graduating first in his class). Lecuona made his international debut four years later in New York City, and began a career as a virtuoso pianist travelling throughout the world. In Paris, he briefly studied composition with Maurice Ravel before emigrating to the U.S. where he gave many recitals.

He returned to the U. S. A, and all during the 1930s and 1940s worked for the American film studios, including Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox and MGM. Although he is best known today for his piano pieces, he also composed one opera, eleven operettas and thirty-seven orchestral works. In 1927, he introduced his own composition "Malagueña" in New York City's Roxy Theater. In 1930, his work "Andalucia" was published, and was a 'classical' hit. In 1940, it also became a 'popular' hit when an English lyric was added and the name changed to "The Breeze And I".

Lecuona went on to composed in every form, from cantatas to piano pieces, and many of his songs became widely popular hits.

The success of Don Azpiazu's Havana Casino Orchestra, the first major Latin group to successfully perform in the U.S., encouraged Lecuona to form the Palau Brothers Cuban Orchestra, and here's a photograph of that group, which he later renamed The Lecuona Cuban Boys. (This is a 1931 shot at the MGM Studio Lot. That's Silent movie star Buster Keaton hugging the little lady. L-R Ernesto Lecuona, Louis Lopez, Rafael Palau, Alberto Bolet, Antonio Pinelli, Buster Keaton, Genero Palau, Raimondo Palau, Lorenzo Palau, Philipe Palau, Felix Guerrero, Alfredo (Boco Chula)Hernandez and Fernando Diaz. The Palau brothers became famous as the Cuban Boys, and Alberto Bolet was the brother of famed pianist Jorge Bolet.). The huge success of "Siboney" in 1929 was still another milestone in Lecuona's career and he became known as the "Cuban Gershwin." He formed the "Orquestra Cubana", but during a tour of Spain, Lecuona had to leave the orchestra for health reasons and returned to Cuba. The group, then came under the direction of Armando Orechife, changed its name to "Lecuona Cuban Boys", and continued touring the world for many years, even appearing in films.

Curiously, "The Cuban Boys" were named in honor of Ernesto Lecuona's Cuban heritage,, although he hardly ever appeared with them. In 1927, Alberto Rabagliati (26 June 1906 - 7 March 1974) had moved to Hollywood as the winner of a Rudolph Valentino look-alike contest. but his career as an actor never took off and after four years, he returned to Europe. There, he became a singer, and after a brief experience with Pippo Barzizza's orchestra, he joined Lecuona's Cuban Boys, where he had a hit with the song "Maria la O" ( performing the song in 'Blackface').. 'The Cuban Boys' spent most of their artistic life in Europe, and then South America. It is probably safe to say that this seminal Cuban band was greatly responsible for the very first International Cuban craze, while at the same time perfecting their own persona by mixing light operatic singing with theatrical production, Afro-Cuban drumming and collaborations with such performers as American-born French sensation Josephine Baker, and others. The group, although very successful ( they even appeared in an early 'talkie' film -the "Cuban Love Song"), disbanded in the mid-1930s. Today, very few recall that Lecuona was among the leading composers for the early "talkies', writing scores for many American and Latin American movies

During 1935-1938, among the many artists who played with the Lecuona Cuban Boys included Enrique Lopez on Trumpet, Fernando Diaz on Trumpet, Guitar, and Violin, Eduardo "Jaruco" Vazquez on Trumpet, and Guitar,(and Composer), Adalberto "Chiquito" Orefiche tenor-Sax, Bongos, Gerardo Bruguera tenor-Sax, Clarinet, Jorge Dominguez alto-Sax, Clarinet, Violin, Daniel Gonzalez on alto-Sax, Clarinet, on Violin, Armando "Fichin" Orefiche on Piano, and Musical Director, (and Composer), Guillermo "Bebo" Hernandez played Guitar, Maracas, and Percussion, and Eduardo Barrenochea on double-bass, Among the singers who appeared with the "Cuban Boys" were Agustin Bruguera Batterie, singer, and Timbales, Alberto Rabagliati, Vocals, Elyane Celis, Vocals, Moises Simons on Piano, and Josephine Baker also sang with the group .
Among the Films that Lecuona scored are:
      "Under Cuban Skies," MGM (1931)
      "Free Soul," MGM (1931)
      "Susana Lenox," MGM (1931)
      "Pearl Harbor," MGM date unknown
      "La Cruz y La Espada" (The Cross and The Sword -date unknown), MGM
      "Always in My Heart," Warner Bros.(1942) Oscar nominee for Best Song
      "One More Tomorrow," Warner Bros. (1946)
      "Carnival in Costa Rica," 20th Century Fox (1947)
      "Maria La O" (Mexican film)
      "Adios, Buenos Aires" (Argentine film -date unknown)
      "La Ultima Melodia" (Cuban film, date unknown)

Among the songs composed by Lecuona are:
      "Always in My Heart"
      "Jungle Drums"
      "La Comparsa" ("The Parade"). Lecuona once described "La Comparsa" as follows: "The composition starts with the gradual approach of the procession [bassoon ostinato imitating pitched tambor drums] and carries one through all the excitement until the last faint notes of the departing parade die away in the distance"
AUDIO  "Canto Indio", (441 kb) This beautiful Tango is also known as "Dust On The Moon". ((M) Ernesto Lecuona, (W) Stanley Adams, Don Walker ). This is a recording by 'The Castillians', in 1934 'The Castillians' was still another name used by the Whittall's Anglo-Persians Orchestra, an orchestra under the leadership of Louis Katzman. Curiously, this gorgeous Tango originally recorded in the 1930's by the "Lecuona Cuban Boys", remains one of Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona's lesser known pieces.
      "Maria My Own (Maria O Lao)"
      "Say Si Si"
  VIDEO: "Malagueña"   José Feliciano playing this lovely song from Ernesto Lecuona's "Andulusia Suite". (film clip: ognet )
AUDIO   "Siboney": (488 kb): Tereza Kesovija singing Ernesto Lecuona's lovely song.

Interestingly, Lecuona's 1943 work, "Black Rhapsody," called for the orchestra to use "una quijada" --the jawbone of an ass. Also in 1943, Cuba made him a honorary cultural attache at the Cuban Embassy in Washington, D.C. After this honor, he only occasionally performed. He was a life-long bachelor who enjoyed living the good life on farms and ranches in Cuba, collecting antiques, playing cards, following American baseball, and reading Agatha Christie mystery novels.

One interesting aspect of Lecuona's compositions is that they capture the influences of various cultures on Cuban music. For instance, his piano pieces "Córdoba", "Alhambra", "Ante El Escorial", "Aragón" and "San Fernando El Grande", are so intrinsically 'Spanish' that many native born Spaniards, who are not aware of Lecuona's background, think of his songs as being composed by a Spaniard. Similarly, his "Danza Lucum" and "La Comparsa" force listeners to think of the African roots that are so much a part of Cuban culture. Lecuona also introduced Argentinian, Panamenian, American, and most surprisingly, Chinese, influences in his music. Whether it was all this blending of cultures, or his own genius -or both - but in the end, Lecuona created some of the most beautiful music that has ever been written.

In 1960, he left Cuba vowing never to return until his beloved Cuba was free of Communism and of Castro. He then maintained residences in New York City; Tampa and Tallahassee, Florida. He died while vacationing in the Canary Islands where he had traveled to attend a concert in his honor. Lecuona is buried at the Gates of Heaven Cemetery in Long Island, NY, USA.

TOP   Michel Legrand
b. Feb. 24, 1932, Paris, France. Composer; vocals; film director; record producer; arranger.
Michel is the son of Raymond Legrand (b. 1908 Paris, d. 1974, Paris, FR). Raymond was also a well known composer working for the French Film industry. Michel, upon completing his music studies at the famed Paris Conservatoire, began his professional career as a singer; progressing to composing and finally to Film directing. He became a popular singer and later also sang with both Bing Crosby and Juliette Greco. During the 1950s, he entered the world of film music and it was there that he made his fame and fortune. In particular, it was his work with the directors of the 'New Wave' that propelled him to prominence. While Legrand has worked with Kon Ichikawa, Joseph Losey, and even Orson Welles, perhaps his best work was with Jacques Demy (quite possibly making his best contributions to cinematic music).

In 1957, Philips recorded a French band playing Swing and Dixieland standards that had been arranged by Legrand. And again in 1958, he produced 'Legrand Jazz' (Col.)which utilized the talents of such American Jazzmen as Art Farmer; Bill Evans; John Coltrane; Herbie Mann; Phil Woods; Ben Webster, and Miles Davis. In 1968, he recorded with a trio playing jazz. Legrand has also written/arranged for (1971)Stan Getz, (1972)Sarah Vaughan and several Phil Woods albums. In addition to all this, many other Jazzmen have recorded some of his compostions, most importantly "The Summer Knows"; "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life", and "Watch What Happens".

TOP   John Leipold
Currently no informaton available on this composer who worked mostly in the Hollywood studios of Paramount Pictures (and often with another composer Sigmund Krumgold.
Do you know Leipold's name? In 1929., he worked on his first Hollywood film, The Wild Party. In 1960, some of his stock music was heard in the film Stop! Look! and Laugh!. In between those two, he contributed to perhaps 400 other films, - very many of which were "B" pictures. It is possible that he received composer credits on perhaps - 15 or so. On all the rest, his name never appeared. (Of course, since many were "Grade B" pictures.... maybe it's a good thing that his name never appeared.) However, he did contribute - anonymously to the 1933 Mae West film. She Done Him Wrong, and to the 1932 Marx Brothers film Horse Feathers, and the classic 1939 Western Stage Coach that starred John Wayne and Clair Trevor.

TOP   [ Francois Lemarque ]
b: Nov. 25, 1917, Paris (France)
né: Nathan Kolb
If any French singer symbolizes Paris, France it is certainly Francois Lemarque. During a long career, he has written nearly a thousand songs of which "A Paris", has become an international standard, interpreted many artists throughout the world.

He was born Nathan Korb in Paris, to Jewish parents who had emigrated to France escaping Pograms in their homelands. His mother, Rose, was Lithuanian and his father, Joseph, a ladies' tailor, was Polish. Nathan grew up in the Bastille district of Paris, a community with both a large Jewish population and many music halls Nathan and his brother Maurice together with their young sister Rachel had a fairly happy childhood. At just age 11, Francois left school to work in a factory. In 1933, his father, then only 41 years old, died of tuberculosis.

About 1934, Nathan and his brother became part of the group 'Mars', affiliated with the Federation of the Working Theatres of France. Within this group, and on the advice of Louis Aragon, the Korb brothers created a duet calling themselves the 'Marc Brothers'. In 1936, they toured about Paris, and while singing in factories and such, met Jacques Prévert.

With France's entry into World War II, life became more difficult for the Jewish family. Nathan was mobilized and while in the French army became involved with various musical and theatrical activities. In 1940, he went into the free zone and settled in Marseilles. There he met Jacques Canetti, an agent who helped him to continue in a solo career as a singer using the name of Francois Lemarque. Francois toured North Africa for a week of recitals with the famed Gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt.

It was after the deportation of his mother to a Nazi concentration camp, that Francois entered the Resistance Movement. While using the assumed name of Mathieu Horbet, he was stopped and imprisoned for a few months, after which he became 'Lieutenant Marc' within the network of resistance fighters.

At war's end, Francois returned to Paris, taking up residence in the Saint-Germain-des-Pré district, where the literary and musical life was undergoing a new renaissance. Here he was able to find some odd jobs as a singer in some Parisian cabarets, and as well as an actor playing small parts at the Theatre of Humour, and the Theatre of Pocket.

In 1946, Francois met Ginny Riché who became his wife in 1948. In addition, Jacques Prévert. introduced Francois to (his idol) Montand, and Montand liking what he heard, began to order songs from Lemarque. Their collaboration would last many years finally reaching it's height with the song "A Paris". In 1949, Lemarque, now a recognized composer, released his first two (78rpm) sides on a label of Jacques Canetti, both of which are successful. In 1951, Lemarque obtained his first "Prize Charles-Cros".

In 1952, his wife gave birth to a girl, -Danièle. Also in 1952, he suffered an illness. During this time, he was quite active in Communist Party functions. In 1953, his song "When a Soldier" (a pacifist song) was released, and in 1954, a similar tune entitled "The Small Shoemaker" first saw the light of day. In 1954, he was able to again resume his career, and toured widely, primarily in Communist countries. In 1954, he visited China and the USSR, in 1955 Poland, and in 1958 North Korea.

In his songs, Lemarque described Paris, its districts, the world of the 'guinguettes' and the hooligans, singing of Love and a certain bucolic romanticism. In 1958, his appearance at the famed L'Olympia for five weeks proved very popular with a broad audience. Also, in the 1950s, he began writing film music including 1958's "Mimi Finch". In 1960, he formed his own company to publish not only his own large repertoire, but the works of others as well, including such other artists as Alain Barrieé, Serge Lama, and the film music of Jacques Demy, including "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg", written by Michel Legrand.

In 1960, his family again increased with the birth of a boy, -Michel. During the 1960s, he wrote (1961) his famous "The Sucker Rebiffe"; "Maigret Sees Red" in 1963, and in 1967, "Playtime", -for Jacques Tati. He was also composing for television. In 1962, he gave recitals in North Africa, Europe and in Canada. In 1965 for his disc "Francis Lemarque Meets Francis Carco", he was awarded the 'Rose d' Or' prize for "Antibes".

A few years later, he wrote some material for singer Jean Ferrat, and in the same year, launched a project with writer George Coulonges, which they named "Paris Populi". They wrote a number of songs forming a fresco on the History of Paris as seen through the eyes of the people of 1789 up to the present time. In 1973, the team was rewarded by a new Charles-Cros prize. The songs have been interpreted by such stars as Juliette Greo, Jean Guidoni, Mireille Mathieu, Mouloudji or Serge Reggiani. During 1977-'78, Lemarque recorded again with the Theatre of the Parisian East. In 1979, the singer released a new album ("the Lady with the Memories", "Friday Evening"), and again toured France until 1980.

Between 1982 and 1988, at age 65, Lemarque was still fully active. He released three albums ("Francis Lemarque", "Where the Flowers Go?", "the Street Has A Fun Festival"). In 1982, he appeared as an actor in a Serge Leroy police film, "Legitimate Violence". In 1984, he opened his own studio, and was named 'Officier of Arts and Lettres' by Jack Lang, the Minister of culture, all the while collecting some other great prizes including his third Charles-Cros pirze in 1989.

During 1987-'89, he appeared regularly at Parisian venues, -Dejazet in 1988, the Spring Festival of Bourges in April 1988, and at the famous L'Olympia in 1989. During 1993-'94, Lemarque worked on a multi-volume recording, "The Anthology of the French Song" (done in his own studio at the Saint-Hilaire Game preserve) exploring the essence of traditional French songs over several centuries.

TOP   Alan Jay Lerner
b. 1918, New York, NY, USA. d. 1986, USA.
(Do NOT confuse with Sammy Lerner!)
Alan Lerner is remembered today as part of the team of Lerner and Loewe. They collaborated on several successful Broadway musicals and for the movie musical 'Gigi', an Academy Award-winner. Lerner's father was the founder of the 'Lerner's' chain of women's clothing stores, and so Alan never worried for money.

However, Lerner also collaborated with other composers, such as:
Kurt Weill, for the 1948 show 'Love Life'
Burton Lane for the 1965 show 'On a Clear Day You Can See Forever'
Andre Previn for the 1969 show 'Coco'

See the Loewe bio entry for more information. Lerner is a member of the Songwiiters' Hall of Fame.

TOP   Sammy Lerner
Currently no information available. (Do NOT confuse with Allan Jay Lerner)
This lyricist was active in the 1920's and the 1930's. The team of lyricists Irving Caesar and Sammy Lerner with composer Gerald Marks gave the world two great hit songs:
"Is It True What They Say About Dixie"
"Old Susannah, Dust Off That Old Pi-anna"
1937 "Moon Or No Moon", co-lyric Al Goodheart, Al Hoffman tune.
"Judy", with composer Hoagy Carmichael.
"I'm Popeye The Sailor Man", for the film cartoon series.
Sammy also wrote the English lyric to the tune "Falling In Love Again", which was originally sung by Marlene Dietrich in the German film "Die Blauen Angel" (The Blue Angel).

TOP   Edgar Leslie
b. Dec. 31, 1885 Stamford, CT, USA. d. 1976, USA.
Lyricist Edgar Leslie was most active during the 1920's through the 1930's. He was raised in New York City, and wrote special material for such vaudeville performers as Nat Will; Joe Welch and Billy B. Van.

1909 "Lonesome", was his first published song.
    "Sadie Salome", the music was supplied by Irving Berlin.
    "I Didn't Go Home at All"
Among his other lyrics at this time, are:
    "He'd Have to Get Out - Get Out and Get Under", co-lyricists were Grant Clarke and Maurice Abrahams.

    "For Me and My Gal", music by Ray Goetz and Geo. W. Meyer.
    "Oh What a Pal Was Mary", with Pete Wendling music.
    "Blue and Broken Hearted"
    "Dirty Hands, Dirty Face"
    "Me and the Man in the Moon"

In 1927, Leslie traveled to England. While there, he wrote some songs with composer 'Horatio Nicholls', a pseudonym for music publisher Lawrence Wright. Among their work was:
    "Among My Souvenirs", later a Connie Francis hit, in 1959.
    "Mistakes", a Vera Lynn hit record.
    "Shepherd of the Hills", a Jack Hylton Orch. hit record.

The 1930's saw a number of Edgar Leslie hit songs. Among them:
    "Were You Foolin'?"
    "Tain't No Sin"
    "Robins and Roses"
    "The Moon Was Yellow"
    "In a Little Gypsy Tearoom", singer Arthur Tracy hit record.
    "The Girl I Left Behind Me"
    "Midnight Blue", for Ziegfeld Follies of 1936.
    "At a Perfume Counter"
    "I Still Do"
    "Rainbow Valley"
    "Cling to Me"
    "It Looks Like Rain In Cherry Blossom Lane"

Very early in his career, Leslie showed a penchent for 'places'.
    "Kansas City Kitty"
    "Moon Over Miami"
    "Rose of the Rio Grande"
    "California and You"
    "In the Gold Fields of Nevada"
    "When Kentucky Bids the World Good Morning"
    "America, I Love You"
    "That Italian Rag"

In addition to his 'places' he would also use 'amusing' titles:
    "When Ragtime Rosie Ragged the Rosary"
    "Where Was Moses When The Lights Went Out?"
    "All The Quakers Are Shoulder Shakers"
    "Lord Have Mercy on the Married man"

Among the many composers with whom Leslie worked, are: Harry Ruby; Fred Ahlert; Joe Burke; Jimmy Monaco, and Walter Donaldson.

TOP   Henry Lenk
né: Hans Jan Lengsfelder.
b. 1903, Vienna, Austria, d. Feb. 6, 1979, Hallandale, FL, USA. Age: 75
In 1932, Henry moved to the United States, where he often used the pseudonym Harry Lenk; Perhaps, Lenk is best recalled today for co-writing the lyrics for Juan Tizol’s “Perdido” with composer-lyricist Ervin Drake. At the time, Tizol was the Trombonist in the Duke Ellington band. In 1942, Lengsfelder, Ervin Drake, and Paul James McGrane wrote the tune “Hayfoot, Strawfoot” (also introduced by Duke Ellington and His Orchestra with Ivy Anderson vocal). In 1951, he wrote a big hit for singer Perry Como entitled “There’s a Big Blue Cloud (Next to Heaven)” . He worked as a lyricist for such Broadway shows as 1981s "Sophisticated Ladies" (March 1, 1981 - Jan 2, 1983). Interestingly, Lengsfelder wrote dozens of plays and operettas that were produced in Europe, but not in the USA. However, in 1947, he started his own theater company, 'Your Theater, Inc.', in the United States, and wrote the Broadway production of "Heads or Tails", which enjoyed a rather small run (May 2, 1947 - May 31, 1947). Most of his other songs, such as “Pound Your Table Polka" and “Susie on the Sewing Machine” were eminently forgettable. CAUTION: Do Not Confuse with Gunther Brehm, a pseudontm for another Hans Jan Lengsfelder, a horn player born in the early 1800. He played with 'Marshall’s Civic Band', in Topeka, KS, USA, circa 1884.