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Matt Dennis

Matthew Loveland Dennis

Composer, Pianist, Vocalist, Arranger, Musical Director

(1914 - 2002)

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Big Bands Database


Appreciation at faculty.ucr.edu
Obit at jazzhouse.org


CD--"Plays & Sings Matt Dennis" ...


Films at imdb.com
Matt Dennis came from a vaudeville family and nurtured his musical talents in multiple directions. In 1933, when only 19, he signed with Horace Heidt’s band as pianist/vocalist. He developed his own popular lounge act and performed around the Los Angeles area in the ‘30s and ‘40s.

He gained a reputation arranging for other vocalists and, on the recommendation of Jo Stafford, became composer/arranger for Tommy Dorsey’s band in 1940. Dorsey performed over a dozen of Dennis’ songs, all composed with lyricist Tom Adair. “Will You Still Be Mine?” and “Let’s Get Away from It All” (1940), “The Night We Called It a Day,” “Everything Happens to Me,” and “Violets for Your Furs” (1941) became hits for Dorsey’s vocalist, Frank Sinatra, who would later take “Angel Eyes,” written with Earl Brent in 1946, to the charts in 1953.

After service in WWII and a brief stint with the Glenn Miller Band, Dennis became musical director for vocalist Dick Haymes’ radio show, made nightclub appearances, and recorded under his own name. He was a guest on several TV shows, hosted his own program on local television, and during the summer of 1955 had a show on NBC-TV.

An accomplished jazz pianist, Dennis wrote two tutorials, Introduction to the Blues and You Can Teach Yourself Piano, designed to teach as well as to encourage improvisation.

Interestingly, a 2003 CD release by Mark Winkler, …Sings Bobby Troup, has turned up a 1984 collaboration with Matt Dennis, “Learn to Love,” a never-before-recorded ballad.

- Sandra Burlingame

Play Melancholy Baby

Matt Dennis

Everything Happens to Me

Frank Sinatra

Violets for Your Furs

Shirley Horn

Angel Eyes

Anita O'Day

Only the Lonely

Frank Sinatra (Includes "Angel Eyes")

Sings Bobby Troup

Mark Winkler Includes "Learn to Love"

Plays and Sings Matt Dennis

Matt Dennis
Reading and Viewing

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Matt Dennis

You Can Teach Yourself Piano

Mel Bay Publications

Matt Dennis

Introduction to the Blues: Keyboard Piano

Mel Bay Publications

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