He Wrote That?!

Some Unfamiliar Names
Attached To Some
Very Familiar Songs

DON RAYE (1909-1985)
GENE DePAUL (1919-1988)
TOM ADAIR (1913-1988)
MATT DENNIS (1914-2002)
JACK LAWRENCE (1912-2009)
JOHNNY BURKE (1908-1964)
HARRY WOODS (1896-1970)

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As in most professional fields, American Popular Song has a constellation of “stars” who became as famous as the songs they wrote: Gershwin, Kern, Porter, Berlin, Rodgers…

However, the golden years of Tin Pan Alley/Broadway/Hollywood boast so many song standards that it would be impossible to know all the outstanding creative names on the sheet music title pages.

Do you recognize the name Don Raye? Gene De Paul? Tom Adair? Matt Dennis? Jack Lawrence? Remember Johnny Burke? Harry Woods ring any bells? Probably not unless one is a fanatical denizen of Tin Pan Alley´s numerous, inviting doorways.

HE WROTE THAT?! dramatizes the fact that without the six anonymous [and talented] gentlemen mentioned, the following songs, like unborn children, would never have been:

“Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” “This Is My Country,” “Beat Me, Daddy, Eight To The Bar,” “I´ll Remember April,” “You Don´t Know What Love Is,” the scores for SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS  and LITTLE ABNER, “Teach Me Tonight,” “Everything Happens To Me,” “Let´s Get Away From It All,” “Angel Eyes,” “If I Didn´t Care,” “All Or Nothing At All,” “Yes, My Darling Daughter,” “Tenderly,” “Linda,” “The Poor People Of Paree,” “Beyond The Sea,” “Pennies From Heaven,” “I´ve Got A Pocketful Of Dreams,” “What´s New,” “Imagination,” “The Road To Morocco,” “Moonlight Becomes You,” “Sunday, Monday Or Always,” “Swinging On A Star,” “It Could Happen To You,” “Personality,” “But Beautiful,” “Here´s That Rainy Day,” “Misty,” “River Stay ‘Way From My Door,” “When The Moon Comes Over The Mountain,” “Try A Little Tenderness,” “When The Red, Red Robin Comes Bob-Bob-Bobbin´ Along,” “I´m Looking Over A Four Leaf Clover,” “Side By Side”…

Quite a stunning catalogue for a bunch of unknown composers and lyricists! Hearing and singing these songs again is a tribute to them, an overdue curtain call when those of us passionate about great American Popular Songs, can applaud and ask, as both a rhetorical question and an expression of praise, HE WROTE THAT?!!

If you would like to engage Fred Miller for one of his Lectures-in-Song, please contact him directly at any time. For a full listing of all Lectures, click here.

Fred Miller’s Lectures-In-Song comprise a series of solo programs, each an historical, anecdotal and musical profile of some great personality or important aspect of American Popular Song. These Lectures are delivered by singer/pianist/narrator Miller at the piano, and each reflects his lifetime passion and appreciation for great music. He studied classical piano in his hometown of Albuquerque from ages 7-15 but early on gave up any notion of music as a profession. At that time, Fred assumed a musical career was either one devoted to the rigid discipline of classical music or being a freewheeling rock star, and he accurately decided he had no aptitude for either. However, at age 22, upon hearing Ella Fitzgerald sing Cole Porter, he found his calling and life’s mission.

Through the Seventies and Eighties, Miller studied and absorbed in minute detail the life and times and songs of nearly all the great American composers and lyricists who thrived during Broadway & Hollywood’s Golden Age between the two World Wars. In 1987, he founded Silver Dollar Productions in order to produce operettas, dramas, musicals and small cabarets. Silver Dollar Productions required ensemble casts, props, costumes and, most significantly, the challenges of publicity and selling tickets, and for a dozen busy years, the company presented an unbroken string of varied and highly lauded performances.

In 1999, Miller was simultaneously underwritten by both his local Hunterdon County Library and the Art Alliance of Philadelphia to present a series of six solo Lectures-In-Song, each devoted to one of the premiere Broadway/Hollywood songwriters: George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Richard Rodgers, Jerome Kern, and Harold Arlen.

In presenting history, biography and psychology while sitting at a piano singing the superlative songs of his heroes, Miller has found a single performing medium that utilizes most of his intellectual and musical passions.The list of Lectures-In-Song that began with six in 1999 is now more than seventy(and growing!), a joyful tribute to the boundlessly rich field of American Popular Song.