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Harold Adamson

Lyricist, Composer

(1906 - 1980)

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Harold Adamson was a prolific lyricist for films and television from 1933 to 1964 and was five times nominated for Academy Awards. His ambition was to be an actor but the early success of “Time on My Hands” (written with Vincent Youmans and Mack Gordon in 1930 for Florence Ziegfeld’s stage show Smiles) diverted his career into songwriting.

After contributing to several stage musicals, Adamson was lured to Hollywood where “Everything I Have Is Yours,” written with Burton Lane for Joan Crawford’s 1933 Dancing Lady, became a hit. In 1937 his partnership with Jimmy McHugh produced the title song for You’re a Sweetheart and the beautiful “Where Are You?” for Top of the Town. The McHugh/Adamson partnership also produced the Oscar nominated “My Own” for 1938’s That Certain Age; “I Couldn’t Sleep a Wink Last Night” and “This Is a Lovely Way to Spend an Evening,” sung by Frank Sinatra in the 1943 film Higher and Higher ; and the exuberant “It’s a Most Unusual Day” for 1948’s A Date with Judy. In 1955 their “Too Young to Go Steady” was a hit for Nat King Cole, and jazz vocalist Kurt Elling revived it on his 1998 release.

Adamson wrote lyrics to a Ferde Grofe melody in 1943, and it debuted as “Daybreak” in Thousands Cheer. He enjoyed success with two very different tunes in 1945: “Hubba, Hubba, Hubba (Dig You Later)” and “I Don’t Care Who Knows It.”

From 1956 to 1958 Adamson wrote lyrics for the title cuts to Around the World in 80 Days, An Affair to Remember, and Separate Tables. He also scored I Love Lucy and Wyatt Earp for television.

During WWII Adamson received awards from the Department of War for his patriotic songs “Coming in on a Wing and a Prayer” and Bing Crosby’s “Buy a Bond.” His son Bruce produced a documentary, Harold Adamson: An Affair to Remember, which includes a clip of Cary Grant singing “Did I Remember,” Adamson’s first Oscar nomination.

- Sandra Burlingame

Time on My Hands: Arbors Piano Series, Vol. 6

Eddie Higgins

Best of the Mgm Years

Billy Eckstine

Where Are You

Frank Sinatra


Bela Fleck

This Time It's Love

Kurt Elling

Higher And Higher (1944 Film) / Step Lively (1944 Film) [2 on 1]

Jimmy McHugh, Harold Adamson, Jule Styne, Sammy Cahn
Reading and Viewing

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Cary Grant, Deborah Kerr, Richard Denning, Neva Patterson, Cathleen Nesbitt

An Affair to Remember

20th Century Fox


Wallace Beery, Jane Powell, Elizabeth Taylor, Carmen Miranda, Xavier Cugat

A Date with Judy


I Love Lucy, Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, William Frawley, Vivian Vance

I Love Lucy (The Complete Series)

Paramount Home Video


Frank Sinatra/Mel Tormé

Higher and Higher (1944)


Kathryn Grayson, Gene Kelly

Thousands Cheer

MGM (Video & DVD)


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