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Michael Feinstein Sings the
Burton Lane Songbook, Vol. 2
Overview and Commentary
Burton Lane (This section is currently in preparation)
Burton Lane was born Burton Levy in 1912 in New York City. At 15 he dropped out of school to work as a song plugger (someone who works for a music publisher promoting songs from the company's catalog by playing and/or singing them for potential customers) with the idea of becoming a songwriter. George Gershwin, no less, became his friend and mentor after their mothers met and gabbed about their sons the songwriters. Lane, unlike Gershwin, left New York after trying his hand at only one Broadway production (Earl Carroll's Vanities, 1931), and soon after set out for Hollywood to take his chance on writing songs for the movies, which had only recently introduced sound and, therefore, the prospect of musicals on the screen. There he worked with a series of lyricists including Frank Loesser, Yip Harburg, Ralph Freed and others turning out tunes for a series of mostly minor pictures.
It wasn't until 1947, when he composed the score for the hit show Finian's Rainbow that Lane was able to establish a reputation in New York, which has remained firmly in tact ever since; and having later been greatly augmented when, in 1965, he wrote the score for On a Clear Day You Can See Forever.
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 (entry pp. 253-256).
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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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Please note: Cafe Songbook pages for songwriters are currently in various stages of development.