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Turner Layton

John Turner Layton

Composer, Vocalist, Pianist, Vaudevillian, Music Publisher

(1894 - 1978)

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Turner Layton is best remembered for the songs that he wrote with lyricist Henry Creamer: “After You’ve Gone” (1918), “Dear Old Southland” (1921), “Way Down Yonder in New Orleans” (1922), which was one of the dance numbers in the Fred Astaire / Ginger Rogers film The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle (1939), and ”Whoa, Tillie” (1923) which was popularized by Bessie Smith.

Layton was a composer, vocalist, music publisher, and an accomplished pianist. The pair’s vaudeville act, for which they wrote all of the material, toured the U.S. and Europe. They also wrote a couple of short-lived Broadway shows before their success with Strut Miss Lizzie in 1922.

In 1924 the elegant and urbane Layton, as he is generally described, moved to England where he was well received. He formed a singing duo with Clarence Johnstone for which he played piano, and they performed throughout England. When Johnstone left England in 1935, Layton continued a successful solo career into the ‘60s. He died in London.

- Sandra Burlingame


Original Benny Goodman Trio and Quartet Sessions, Vol. 1: After You've Gone

Benny Goodman



After You've Gone

Roy Eldridge



After You've Gone

Bessie Smith



Bessie Smith: The Complete Recordings, Vol. 1

Bessie Smith Includes "Whoa, Tillie"



Dear Old Southland

Sidney Bechet


Way Down Yonder in New Orleans

Bix Beiderbecke



Way Down Yonder in New Orleans

Earl Hines
Reading and Viewing

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


Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers

The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle (1939)

VHS - "Way Down Yonder..." danced by the duo


Larry Parks, Barbara Hale

Jolson Sings Again (1949)

VHS - (Includes "After You've Gone")

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