Home Contents Directory About

Irving Gordon

Lyricist, Composer

(1915 - 1996)

The colored dots show the fastest links (How?)


Big Bands Database


Obit at georgegraham.com


Films at imdb.com
Irving Gordon was one of the lyricists who worked for the agency of Irving Mills, who was Duke Ellington’s manager. He and Mills wrote the lyrics for two Ellington tunes, including “Prelude to a Kiss” (1938). Gordon is credited with several songs for which he wrote both words and music: “Be Anything (But Be Mine)” (1952), “Sinner or Saint” (1952) (both recorded by Sarah Vaughan), “What Will I Tell My Heart” which was a hit for Bing Crosby in 1937, and “Unforgettable,” made famous by Nat “King” Cole in 1931.

Frank Sinatra recorded his collaboration with Lee Lester, “Christmas Dreaming” (1947), and “Unbelievable” (1954), which he wrote with Jerry Livingston, became another Cole recording.

Gordon was born in Brooklyn, where he studied violin as a child. It was while he was working at a resort in the Catskills, writing parodies, that he began writing lyrics. Fortunately, he lived long enough to see the 1991 Unforgettable album of Cole’s daughter, Natalie, win multiple Grammys. The tribute album featured her singing with her father’s recorded version of the song.

- Sandra Burlingame

Prelude to a Kiss

Jeri Southern

Prelude to a Kiss

Mel Torme

What Will I Tell My Heart?

Sandra Kaye with the James Gilyard Ensemble

Love Songs

Nat King Cole

Unforgettable: With Love

Natalie Cole
Reading and Viewing

At Amazon.com you can often buy used for a fraction of the new price

Alec Baldwin, Meg Ryan, Kathy Bates, Ned Beatty, Patty Duke

Prelude to a Kiss

20th Century Fox


Copyright 2008 - JazzBiographies.com - All Rights Reserved          Permission and contact information