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Robert Sour


Lyricist, Businessman

(1906 - 1985)

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Robert Sour was a composer/lyricist whose major contribution to jazz is his collaboration on the lyrics to one of the greatest of all tunes, “Body and Soul.”

He had an interesting collaboration with Una Mae Carlisle who was a pianist/singer/composer who performed at the Cotton Club. Fats Waller hired her for his band around 1933, and she recorded “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love” with him. She enjoyed an international reputation and led her own group in 1940-41, which included Lester Young and Benny Carter.

Carlisle and Sour came up with a couple of songs that are still being picked up by today’s artists, “Walkin’ By the River” (1940) and “I See a Million People” (1941). Both of these songs made the Hit Parade, a first for a female, African American composer. Several well-established jazz musicians recorded them, and Carol Sloane included the latter in her 2002 CD, I Never Went Away.

Sour contributed music and/or lyrics to three musicals between 1939 and 1945. A collaboration with Henry Manners turned up “We Could Make Such Beautiful Music Together” (1940), popularized by Vaughan Monroe. In 1942, in partnership with Helen Bliss, they wrote music for Disney’s Bambi, “Twitterpated” and “Thumper Song,” which were used in advertising the film.

As vice-president of BMI in 1961 he helped oversee the establishment of the BMI-Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, which would preserve the integrity and tradition of musical theater by teaching its principles to young composers and lyricists.

- Sandra Burlingame


Body & Soul

Coleman Hawkins



Body and Soul

Billie Holiday



Body and Soul

Erroll Garner



Body and Soul

Eddie Jefferson



I Never Went Away

Carol Sloane Includes "I See a Million People"



Body and Soul

Gene Bertoncini
Reading and Viewing

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


John Garfield, Lilli Palmer

Body and Soul

Republic Pictures

DVD


Hardie Albright, Stan Alexander

Bambi (1942)

DVD

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