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Joseph Young

Joe Young

Lyricist, Vocalist

(1889 - 1939)

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Songs in films at classicmoviemu...
Lyricist for songs at wikipedia.org

Joe Young worked as a song plugger for music publishers, enjoyed songwriting success with two hits in 1914, and served in WWI as an entertainer. But when he met fellow lyricist Sam M. Lewis, they enjoyed a string of hits. “Rockabye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody,” written in 1918 with Jean Schwartz, was sung by Al Jolson in his hit show Sinbad. The following year, with composer Walter Donaldson, they wrote “How Ya Gonna Keep ‘Em Down on the Farm (After They’ve Seen Paree)?” which was a popular song symbolizing WWI’s devastating effect on farming.

1925 was a great year for the duo. They had two enduring hits with composer Ray Henderson. “Five Feet Two, Eyes of Blue” would later make the 1949 Hit Parade, and “I’m Sitting on Top of the World” was popularized again in 1953 by Les Paul and Mary Ford. “Dinah,” written with Harry Akst, was popularized by Ethel Waters and would become the theme song of singer Fanny Rose Shore who took it as her stage name. The hits kept coming: “In a Little Spanish Town” with Mabel Wayne in 1926 (picked up by the Paul Whiteman Orchestra) and “Then You’ve Never Been Blue” with bandleader/composer Ted Fio Rito in 1929. Several of their songs were interpolated into films, and one of their final collaborations was a film with Harry Warren in 1930.

After the pair went their own ways Young continued to enjoy success. In 1931, with co-lyricist Mort Dixon and composer Harry Warren, he wrote the ever popular “You’re My Everything” for the Broadway show The Laugh Parade. In 1932 for the film The Crooner he wrote “In a Shanty in Old Shanty Town” with John Siras. Also in 1932 for a Broadway revue he wrote a song with Bernice Petkere, “Lullaby of the Leaves,” which would become a favorite of jazz musicians from Dizzy Gillespie to Gerry Mulligan and Mel Torme. Another of his hits was 1935’s “I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter” with music by Fred Ahlert.

Young was a charter member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) and served as a director from 1926 until his death in 1939.

- Sandra Burlingame

Les Paul & Mary Ford - All-Time Greatest Hits

Les Paul & Mary Ford features "I'm Sitting on Top of the World"

Am I Blue

Grant Green

You're My Everything

Cedar Walton & David Williams

Blue Nights

Judy Niemack features "Lullaby of the Leaves"

Golden Years of Al Jolson

Al Jolson Features several Young lyrics
Reading and Viewing

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