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Thomas Adair wrote several songs that entered the jazz standards repertoire almost at their inception and have remained consistently popular over the years. He was born in Kansas but attended college in Los Angeles where he wrote for radio shows and contributed poetry to the Saturday Evening Post. One evening in 1940 he went into a club where Matt Dennis was playing and suggested that they collaborate on a song. He showed Dennis a lyric called “Will You Still Be Mine?” Dennis liked the lyric, wrote the song, and gave it to Tommy Dorsey to record as did Dennis himself.
According to Dennis, within a week they also wrote “Let’s Get Away from It All” and “Everything Happens to Me” which Frank Sinatra introduced with the Dorsey band. The following year they wrote two more jazz standards, “Violets for Your Furs” (which Sinatra recorded with Dorsey and later reprised in his Songs for Young Lovers) and “The Night We Called It a Day” (which vocalist Mark Murphy combined with another Adair song “There’s No You” in his Kerouac Then and Now album).
In 1942 Adair collaborated with Alfonso D’Artega on “In the Blue of Evening,” another hit for Sinatra and the Dorsey band. A 1944 collaboration with Harold S. Hopper produced the hit song “There’s No You” which was recorded by several vocalists including Sarah Vaughan and Mel Torme. Adair also contributed lyrics to a Broadway show in 1949, Along Fifth Avenue, with music by Gordon Jenkins. One of their songs, “Weep No More,” was recorded by Billie Holiday.
Songwriter Charles LeVere approached Adair in 1954 and asked him to collaborate on a Walt Disney project, the theme park’s Western saloon show in Frontierland called the Golden Horseshoe Revue which eventually won a place in the Guinness World Records book as the most performed stage show. In 1956 the title song that Adair wrote with Leith Stevens for the film Julie received an Academy Award nomination for Best Song, and in 1959 he and George Bruns scored the Disney film Sleeping Beauty.
During the ‘50s Adair was also writing for television, and, while working on The “Ann Sothern Show,” he met James B. Allardice. Together they contributed episodes to many of the most popular sitcoms of the ‘60s: Hazel, My Three Sons, I Dream of Jeannie, Gomer Pyle, and The Munsters. After Allardice died in 1966 Adair retired from television writing.
- Sandra Burlingame
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Words by Tom Adair, Music by D'artega
In the Blue of the Evening
Shapiro, Bernstein & Co
Lyric by Tom Adair, Music by Hal Hopper
There's No You
Barton Music Corp.
Guinness World Records
Guinness World Records (2007 Guinness World Records)
Sleeping Beauty (Special Edition)
Walt Disney Video
Doris Day, Louis Jourdan, Barry Sullivan, Frank Lovejoy, Jack Kelly
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