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"In 1928, Ahlert met lyricist Roy Turk and together the songwriting team would find their most successful chemistry. In 1928 they published 'I’ll Get By (as long as I have you)', a #3 hit for Ruth Etting in 1929 and a #1 hit for Harry James [with vocal by Dick Haymes] in 1944. 'Mean To Me' was published in 1929 and again a top ten hit for Ruth Etting in 1929. “Mean To Me” continues to be one of the most performed standards in every genre. 1930 produced 'Walkin’ My Baby Back Home,' a top ten hit in 1931 for Nick Lucas and Ted Weems and a top ten hit in 1952 for Nat King Cole and Johnnie Ray. 1931 produced the classics 'Where The Blue Of the Night (Meets the Gold of the Day),' a top five hit for Bing Crosby in 1932. Also during 1931, 'I Don’t Know Why (I Just Do),' the 1931 # 2 hit by Wayne King and 1946 # 16 hit by Tommy Dorsey, as well as 'Love, You Funny Thing!' top five recording in 1932 by Louis Armstrong."
Ahlert served as a director of ASCAP for 20 years, from 1933 to 1953, and as its president from 1948 to 1950. He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970.
Alec Wilder writes of Ahlert that he was a "better-than-average writer, and though his best songs were not many, he deserves mention among the great craftsmen." Of Ahlert's melodies, Wilder praises "I'll Get By," "Mean to Me," Walkin' My Baby Back Home," "Love, You Funny Thing," "The Moon Was Yellow" (calling it "another canoe song,") and "I'm Going To Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter." (Wilder, p. 416, hardcover Ed.)
David Ewen. American Songwriters, An H. W. Wilson Biographical Dictionary. New York: The H. W. Wilson Co., 1987 (includes 146 bios of composers and lyricists). -- a wide selection of used copies at abebooks.com, (Ahlert entry pp. 11-13).
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Master List of Great American Songbook Songwriters
Names of songwriters who have written at least one song included in the Cafe Songbook Catalog of The Great American Songbook are listed below.
Names of songwriters with two or more song credits in the catalog (with rare exceptions) are linked to their own Cafe Songbook pages, e.g. Fields, Dorothy.
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