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Jule Styne

Julius Kerwin Stein
Jules Stein

Composer, Pianist, Producer, Bandleader

(1905 - 1994)

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Big Bands Database
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Songwriters Hall of Fame
 

Jule Styne (pronounced Joo-lee) was a child prodigy who wrote over 1500 songs, had several smash hits on Broadway, and won numerous awards. Born in England, where he began studying piano, he immigrated to America with his family in 1912 and continued his studies in Chicago, performing with three symphony orchestras before he was 12. But his hands were too small to sustain a career as a concert pianist, and in 1926 he joined the Ben Pollack Band where he absorbed jazz and wrote his first hit song.

In 1932 Styne formed his own band which backed such talents as Fanny Brice. He was offered the job of vocal coach to the stars at 20th Century Fox in Hollywood and began writing for films in 1937. He wrote “I Don’t Want to Walk Without You, Baby” with Frank Loesser which became a popular WWII song, but his partnership with Sammy Cahn was a goldmine of popular songs: “I’ve Heard That Song Before” (1942), “I’ll Walk Alone” (1944), “Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out to Dry,” “I Fall in Love Too Easily”, “Let It Snow, Let It Snow”, “Saturday Night Is the Loneliest Night of the Week”, and “It’s Been a Long, Long Time” (1945), “Five Minutes More” and “The Things We Did Last Summer” (1946), and “I Believe” (1947).

All of this occurred before Styne even began his Broadway career. High Button Shoes (1947) was his first Broadway hit with Cahn, followed by Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1949) with its hit song “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” written with Leo Robin. Paired with Betty Comden and Adolph Green, Styne wrote the music for Two on the Aisle (1951), Peter Pan (1954), Bells Are Ringing (1956), and 1967’s Tony award-winning Hallelujah, Baby. Yet to come were the hugely successful Gypsy (1959) with lyricist Stephen Sondheim and Funny Girl (1964), a collaboration with Bob Merrill with whom he would write 1972’s Sugar.

In all Styne received eight Oscar nominations for best song and also scored and produced TV shows. Among his other honors are the Kennedy Center Award for Artistic Achievement; two Grammys; the Drama Critics Circle Award; and an Oscar shared with Cahn for the title cut of the film Three Coins in the Fountain (1954), sung by Frank Sinatra.

- Sandra Burlingame


Michael Feinstein Sings the Jule Styne Songbook

Michael Feinstein



Styne & Mine

The Christian Jacob Trio



Things We Did Last Summer

New York Trio



Funny Girl


Reading and Viewing

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


Jule Styne

The Songs of Jule Styne

Hal Leonard Corporation


Theodore Taylor

Jule: The story of composer Jule Styne

Random House


Marilyn Monroe/Jane Russell

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)

DVD


Judy Holliday/Dean Martin

Bells Are Ringing

Warner Home Video

DVD


Rosalind Russell, Natalie Wood, Karl Malden

Gypsy

Warner Home Video

DVD


Clifton Webb, Dorothy McGuire, Jean Peters, Louis Jourdan, Maggie McNamara

Three Coins In the Fountain

20th Century Fox

DVD


Bobby Driscoll, Kathryn Beaumont, Hans Conried, Bill Thompson

Peter Pan (2-Disc Platinum Edition)

Walt Disney Video

DVD

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