Search Tips: 1) Click "Find on This Page" button to activate page search box. 2) When searching for a name (e.g. a songwriter), enter last name only. 3) When searching for a song title on the catalog page, omit an initial "The" or "A". 4) more search tips.
Overview and Commentary
J. Fred Coots (This section is currently in preparation)
"Santa Claus Is Coming to Town"
"You Know Dancer and Dasher, But Have You Heard of the Writers Behind Your Favorite Christmas Songs" Dish Magazine, Issue 115, February, 2012
"Composer and lyricist team J. F. Coots and Haven Gillespie may be well known for having written well over 700 songs in their career, but no one could have guessed that a 'little children’s song' would be their most well remembered creation ever. Gillespie had written the lyrics for the songs several years earlier after hearing his son exclaim excitedly that he was going right to bed because Santa Clause was coming to town. It wasn’t until 1934 Gillespie brought Coots the lyrics. Initially underwhelmed by the simplistic song, Coots came up with the skeleton of the music in just ten minutes. Later when Coots brought the song to his publisher, Leo Feist Inc., they liked it but thought it was a kids' song and didn’t expect too much from it. Little did they know what they had in their hands. Coots offered the song to Eddie Cantor who used it on his radio show that November and it became an instant hit. The morning after the radio show there were orders for 100,000 copies of sheet music, and, by Christmas, sales had passed 400,000.
''Santa Claus is Coming to Town' is not only both Coots and Gillespie’s most famous work it is also both of their most recorded works ever having been covered by acts as far reaching as Bruce Springsteen, Green Day, Bing Crosby, Dinah Washington and Alice Cooper."
Copyrighted in 1936, "Doin' the Suzy-Q" by J. Fred Coots and Benny Davis," performed here by Peter Mintun, "was the most successful of all the songs in the 27th annual Cotton Club Parade."
The music for "Love Letters in the Sand" was written by J. Fred Coots and the lyrics by Nick and Charles Kenny in 1931. It became a big hit for Pat Boone--#1 on the Billboard charts for five weeks--in June and July 1957.
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 is available at abebooks.com (J. Fred Coots entry pp. 106-108).
Submit comments on songs, songwriters, performers, etc.
Feel free to suggest an addition or correction.
Please read our Comments Guidelines before making a submission. (Posting of comments is subject to the guidelines.
Not all comments will be posted.)
Borrowed material (text): The sources of all quoted and paraphrased text are cited. Such content is used under the rules of fair use to further the educational objectives of CafeSongbook.com. CafeSongbook.com makes no claims to rights of any kind in this content or the sources from which it comes.
Borrowed material (images): Images of CD, DVD, book and similar product covers are used courtesy of either Amazon.com or iTunes/LinkShare with which CafeSongbook.com maintains an affiliate status. All such images are linked to the source from which they came (i.e. either iTunes/LinkShare or Amazon.com).
Any other images that appear on CafeSongbook.com pages are either in the public domain or appear through the specific permission of their owners. Such permission will be acknowledged in this space on the page where the image is used.
For further information on Cafe Songbook policies with regard to the above matters, see our "About Cafe Songbook" page (link at top and bottom of every page).
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.
Names of songwriters with only one song credit in the catalog are linked to the Cafe Songbook page for that song, on which may be found information about the songwriter or a link to an information source for him or her.
Please note: Cafe Songbook pages for songwriters are currently in various stages of development.