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Gus Kahn

Gustav Gerson Kahn

Lyricist, Vaudevillian

(1886 - 1941)

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Big Bands Database


"My Baby Just Cares for Me" at w...


Filmography at imdb.com
On Broadway at ibdb.com
Gus Kahn was born in Germany and came as a child to Chicago where he began his musical career writing for vaudeville. A prolific lyricist, Kahn was versatile and had a poet’s turn of phrase. Eddie Cantor and Al Jolson popularized many of his songs: “Pretty Baby” (1915), “Toot, Toot, Tootsie (Goodbye)” (1921), “Yes, Sir, That’s My Baby” (1925) and “Makin’ Whoopee”(1928), the last two written with Walter Donaldson. Kahn and Donaldson produced a string of hits, including the torch song associated with Ruth Etting, “Love Me or Leave Me”(1928) that became a movie starring Doris Day as Etting (1955), and “My Baby Just Cares for Me” which became Nina Simone’s signature song.

His association with Isham Jones was equally successful and produced “It Had to Be You” (1924) which Johnny Mercer called “the greatest popular song ever written.” It has appeared in over 40 films, including Casablanca, Annie Hall, and When Harry Met Sally. Another huge hit was “I’ll See You in My Dreams” (1924) which became the title of a 1951 movie biography of Kahn, played by Danny Thomas with Doris Day as his wife. Howard Alden dubbed the song on guitar for Sean Penn in 1999’s Sweet and Lowdown.

While some of his songs may seem dated, Kahn’s work still crosses musical boundaries. “Dream a Little Dream of Me” (1931), for instance, was introduced by the Wayne King orchestra, popularized by Kate Smith, picked up by Frankie Laine in 1950, recorded by both Louis Armstrong and the Mamas and Papas in 1968, and appeared on the soundtrack of Beautiful Thing (1996).

- Sandra Burlingame

20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Al Jolson

Al Jolson

Pretty Baby

Dean Martin

Love Me or Leave Me

Ruth Etting

Makin Whoopee

Count Basie

My Baby Just Cares for Me

Nina Simone

It Had to Be You... The Great American Songbook

Rod Stewart

Ill See You in My Dreams

Kenny Davern

Songs That Won the War: I'll See You in My Dreams

Various Artists

Dream a Little Dream of Me

Nat King Cole

Dream a Little Dream of Me: The Music of Mama Cass Elliot

Mama Cass Elliot
Reading and Viewing

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Gus Kahn & Walter Jurmann

The One I Love (Judy Garland Cover)

Leo Feist, New York

Gus Kahn; Edward Eliscu; Vincent Youmans

ORCHIDS IN THE MOONLIGHT - from the film Flying Down to Rio

Harms Incorporated

lyrics by Gus Kahn, Melody by Grace Le Roy

I Wish I Had a Girl

Robbins Music Corp, Inc. NY

Vincent Youmans; Edward Eliscu; Gus Kahn


Max Dreyfuss ; Vincent Youmans

Doris Day, James Cagney, Cameron Mitchell, Robert Keith, Tom Tully

Love Me or Leave Me

Warner Home Video


Lauren Bacall, Julius J. Epstein, Lee Katz, Ron Haver, Irene Lee Diamond


Warner Home Video


Hy Anzell, Colleen Dewhurst, Shelley Duvall, Russell Horton, Carol Kane

Annie Hall

MGM (Video & DVD)


John Arceri, Robert Alan Beuth, David Burdick, Frances Chaney, Donna Hardy

When Harry Met Sally

MGM (Video & DVD)


Sean Penn

Sweet and Lowdown

Sony Pictures


Dolores del Rio, Gene Raymond, Raul Roulien, Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire

Flying Down to Rio

Turner Home Ent


Doris Day, Danny Thomas, Frank Lovejoy, Patrice Wymore, James Gleason

I'll See You in My Dreams

Warner Home Video


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