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Gus Kahn

Gustav Gerson Kahn

Lyricist, Vaudevillian

(1886 - 1941)

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Filmography at imdb.com
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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

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


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

Carioca

Max Dreyfuss ; Vincent Youmans


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

Love Me or Leave Me

Warner Home Video

DVD


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

Casablanca

Warner Home Video

DVD


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

Annie Hall

MGM (Video & DVD)

DVD


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

When Harry Met Sally

MGM (Video & DVD)

DVD


Sean Penn

Sweet and Lowdown

Sony Pictures

DVD


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

Flying Down to Rio

Turner Home Ent

DVD


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

I'll See You in My Dreams

Warner Home Video

DVD

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