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Creamer "was an accomplished lyricist whose collaboration with J. Turner Layton involved songwriting and a vaudeville team. They themselves introduced their bluesy songs, 'After You've Gone' (1918), 'Dear Old Southland' (1921) . . . , and 'Way Down Yonder in New Orleans' (1922). With Bert Williams, Creamer wrote 'That's a Plenty' (1909), and with Jimmy Johnson 'If I Could Be With You . . . (1926) . . . . A founder of the Clef Club of black entertainers, Creamer and his partner, Layton, contributed songs to the Ziegfeld Follies (1921) and wrote the score for Strut Miss Lizzie (1922)" (Shaw, pp. 73-74).
From the Chapter on Henry Creamer and Turner Layton
"The story of the six year collaboration [c. 1916-1922] of Henry Creamer and Turner Layton is that of a team out of sync. Creamer was serious about theatre, and his long apprenticeship in the profession made him the most likely of his contemporaries to succeed at it; Layton was a gifted pianist and composer who saw the theatre as a place to promote pop songs. When the going got tough, Layton got out. They had their chances, their shows, their hits--but there was always something that kept it from coming together for them. At various times they needed smarter producers, bigger publishers, or better first recordings of their songs. Yet, for all of their near-misses in the theatre, theirs is not a hard-luck story. They had big songs and a few of these became standards. They simply never made the parlay of hit songs from hit shows" (p. 360 hardcover Ed.).
Jasen and Jones go on to give a detailed account of Creamer's and Turner's lives and careers.
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"Way Down Yonder In New Orleans Layton and Johnstone 1927": BASICT01
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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.
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