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Burton Lane

Burton Levy

Composer, Lyricist

(1912 - 1997)

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Burton Lane  dropped out of high school at age 15 to become a song plugger and write for the 1927 edition of the revue Greenwich Village Follies.  During the early ‘30s he collaborated with lyricists Harold Adamson and Howard Dietz on several Broadway shows and wrote most of the score for the ninth edition of Earl Carroll’s Vanities. In 1933 Burton and Adamson went to Hollywood and wrote their first hit song, “Everything I Have Is Yours,” for the movie Dancing Lady. The following year Lane discovered an 11-year-old singer named Frances Gumm, brought her to MGM, and played for her audition. The studio executives signed her and gave her a new name, Judy Garland.

With Frank Loesser, Lane wrote “The Lady’s in Love with You” for the 1939 Bob Hope film Some Like It Hot. In 1941 Lane received his first Oscar nomination for “How About You,” written with Ralph Freed for the Garland/Mickey Rooney film Babes on Broadway. Lane had collaborated with “Yip” Harburg on a less than successful Broadway show in 1940, but in 1947 they teamed to score Finian’s Rainbow (later made into a motion picture) which produced “Old Devil Moon,” “When I’m Not Near the Girl I Love,” “If This Isn’t Love,” “Look To The Rainbow,” and “How Are Things in Glocca Moora.”

The 1951 Fred Astaire movie, Royal Wedding, earned Lane his second Oscar nomination for “Too Late Now,” written with lyricist Alan Jay Lerner.  The pair won a Grammy for best score and a Tony for the title song from their 1965 Broadway show On a Clear Day (You Can See Forever) which was made into a movie in 1970. 

Lane was active outside of theaters and films. He was President of the American Guild of Authors and Composers from 1957-1966 and received their first Sigmund Romberg Award. He won the Songwriters Hall of Fame Johnny Mercer award in 1992 and served on ASCAP’s Board from 1985 to 1996.

- Sandra Burlingame

Everything I Have Is Yours

Sarah Vaughan

Old Devil Moon

Carmen Lundy

On a Clear Day

George Shearing with Brian Torff
Reading and Viewing

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Fred Astaire, Petula Clark, Tommy Steele

Finian's Rainbow

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Fred Astaire, Jane Powell, Peter Lawford, Sarah Churchill, Keenan Wynn

Royal Wedding

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Barbra Streisand, Yves Montand, Bob Newhart, Larry Blyden, Simon Oakland

On a Clear Day You Can See Forever



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