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Manny Kurtz was born in Brooklyn, New York, where he went to high school and college before beginning work in the music publishing business. He wrote or co-wrote the lyrics for over 250 songs including the English lyrics for “Anema e core” (1954) and for the French song that became “Let it Be Me”(1960), a hit recording for the Everly Brothers, Elvis Presley, Betty Everett & Jerry Butler, Glen Campbell & Bobbie Gentry, and Willie Nelson.
A collaboration with Vic Mizzy resulted in a number one song on the Hit Parade in 1945, “My Dreams Are Getting Better All the Time,” and a number two placing in 1946 with “The Whole World Is Singing My Song.”
Kurtz’s most significant contribution to the jazz world is (with Irving Mills) the lyric to Duke Ellington’s “In a Sentimental Mood” (1935). He is also credited with co-writing (with Mills) the lyrics to Ellington’s “Delta Serenade” (1934). Despite Kurtz’s success with “In a Sentimental Mood” and his position as a staff writer at Mills Studios, the Ellington collaborations seem to have ended there.
- Jeremy Wilson
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Larenz Tate, Nia Long
Love Jones (1997)
DVD (Includes "In a Sentimental Mood")
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