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Born: born Frances Deitsch, October 21, 1927, New York City
Died: July 23, 2011, London
Primary songwriting role:lyricist; also poet and singer
Co-writers: chiefly Tommy Wolf; also Bobby Dorough, Dudley Moore, Georgie Fame, Jason McAuliff, Steve Allen, John Simon, Roy Kral, Alec Wilder, Richard Rodney Bennett, and Lee Pockriss; See also a database with details for three of these Landesman collaborators.
Overview and Commentary
Fran Landesman (This section is currently in preparation)
Edited and with an Introduction by Robert Gottlieb and Robert Kimball, New York: Pantheon Books, 2000.
In their overview of the career of Fran Landesman (written in 2000, eleven years before she died), Robert Gottlieb and Robert Kimball trace her beginnings from New York City where she was born and attended Columbia University to St. Louis where she and her husband Jay Landesman and his family opened the Crystal Palace. The Crystal Palace in the early 1950's became St. Louis' performance venue of choice for the hip performers of the era from Lenny Bruce to Woody Allen to Barbra Streisand as well as many jazz musicians. It was during this time that Landesman began her "brilliant collaboration with composer Tommy Wolf producing a series of songs Wolf was later to refer to as 'American Leider'" (Gottlieb, p. 581).
Among these "leider" were the two songs included in the Cafe Songbook catalog, "Ballad of the Sad Young Men" and "Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most, which together with others wound up constituting a show called The Nervous Set, which had a short and not very successful run in New York in May, 1959, but for which an admired cast album was made.
Shortly after this in the early 1960's, Landesman moved to London where she continued her writing as both poet and lyricist as well as performer, until her death in 2011.
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KETC history of Gaslight Square and Fran Landesman: ketc9
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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.
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.