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|In Tune -- by Bill Fuller
Additions, comments, corrections,
contributions to Bill Fuller %Earlyjas, or
Lyricist Jack Yellen
I guess there are probably two, maybe three, camps into which music fans can be divided when it
comes to song composition. First, there are those (like me) who think the composer of the music is the
most important. Then there are those who think the person who put words to the music, the lyricist,
is top dog. I suppose there are even a few who are broadminded enough to consider these two of
My own bias now being exposed you may, over the years, have noticed a distinct lack of ink given
over to lyricists. So, here’s my token lyricist for this year – and he’s a good one!
s and 30’s he teamed up with prolific songwriter Milt Ager to form the publishing firm of Ager, of 21,
he was already writing lyrics for the popular vaudeville singer, Sophie Tucker. During the 1920’the
movies. Here are some of the tunes for which Jack Yellen wrote the lyrics:
the movies. Here are some of the tunes for which Jack Yellen wrote the lyrics:
HARD HEARTED HANNAH – written in 1924 with Bob Bigelow and Charles Bates.
It’s full title includes the words “Vamp of Savannah.”
It was introduced by Frances Williams and recorded by
Belle Barker as well as Cliff Edwards (“Ukulele Ike”).
It was sung in the 1955 film, “Pete Kelly’s Blues” by
GLAD RAG DOLL – written in 1929 with Milt Ager. It was introduced in the film of
the same name and was popularized by Ted Lewis and recorded
by Ruth Etting.
AIN’T SHE SWEET – written in 1927 with Milt Ager. This was Ager’s most popular
song and was made famous on the vaudeville circuit by Lillian
Roth. It was also used in the musical film,”You Were Meant for
Me,” with Dan Dailey and was recorded by the bands of Ben
Bernie, Gene Austin, and Jimmie Lunceford.
HAPPY FEET – written in 1930 with Milt Ager, it was introduced in the Hollywood
film “The King of Jazz” by Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra with
vocal by The Rhythm Boys, including Bing Crosby.
HAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN – written in 1929 with Milt Ager, it was introduced
in the Hollywood film “Chasing Rainbows.”
ALABAMA JUBILEE – written in 1915 with George L. Cobb with whom he also col-
laborated on “Are You from Dixie” in 1914. Introduced by
Arthur Collins and Byron Harlon; and revived in 1951 by Red
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