Home Contents Directory About

Ralph Rainger

Ralph Reichenthal

Composer, Pianist, Orchestra Leader, Lawyer

(1900 - 1942)

The colored dots show the fastest links (How?)


Big Bands Database


Revue of Rainger's music at nyti...


Films at imdb.com
On Broadway at ibdb.com
Ralph Rainger won a scholarship to a prestigious music school but at the behest of his parents left after a year to work his way through law school, playing piano and accompanying vaudeville shows at night. His heart wasn’t in his law practice so he left in 1928 to co-lead a Broadway pit orchestra. In 1929, while working on the revue The Little Show, he was called upon to write an additional song for the star, Libby Holman, and came up with “Moanin’ Low” for the Howard Dietz lyric. In 1930 he wrote another show hit with Leo Robin, beginning a prolific partnership that would last until his untimely death in a plane crash.

The songwriting pair took off for Hollywood and wrote for over 100 films between 1930 and 1942, including Blonde Venus (1932), Torch Singer (1933), Little Miss Marker (1934), Moon over Miami (1941) and Footlight Serenade (1942). They had plenty of hits as well: “A Guy What Takes His Time” (1933) for Mae West; “Love in Bloom”(1934), which became Jack Benny’s theme song; “June in January” (1934) and “Blue Hawaii” (1937), both sung by Bing Crosby; “If I Should Lose You” (1936), which became a popular jazz standard; and the Oscar-winning “Thanks for the Memories” which became Bob Hope’s theme song after he introduced it in The Big Broadcast of 1938.

Three of Rainger’s songs would become closely associated with Billie Holiday. “I Wished on the Moon” (1935), with words by Dorothy Parker, was sung by Crosby in The Big Broadcast of 1936. Also in 1935 Rainger and Robin, in collaboration with Richard Whiting, wrote “Miss Brown to You.” But the duo’s most memorable song, “Easy Living,” was written in 1937 and has maintained its popularity to this day.

- Sandra Burlingame

Moanin Low

Billie Holiday Includes "Easy Living" & "Miss Brown to You"

Little Song

Sheila Jordan Includes "If I Should Lose You"

Ain't But a Few of Us Left

Milt Jackson, Grady Tate, Ray Brown Includes "If I Should Lose You"

I Wished on the Moon

Ed Bickert Quartet

Sings Lover Man and Other Billie Holiday Classics

Carmen McRae Includes "Miss Brown to You"

Easy Living

Ann Hampton Callaway

Easy Living

Paul Desmond

Thanks for the Memory: Songs of Ralph Rainger

Ralph Rainger
Reading and Viewing

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

W.C. Fields, Martha Raye, Dorothy Lamour, Shirley Ross, Lynne Overman

The Big Broadcast of 1938 / College Swing Double Feature

Universal Studios

DVD - Introduced "Thanks for the Memory"

Humphrey Bogart, Edward G. Robinson, Lauren Bacall, Lionel Barrymore, Claire Trevor, Thomas Gomez

Key Largo (Snap Case)

Warner Home Video

DVD Trevor sings "Moanin' Low"

Shirley Temple, Adolph Menjou

Little Miss Marker (1934)


Betty Grable, Carol Landis, Bob Cummings

Moon over Miami (1941)


Victor Mature, Betty Grable

Footlight Serenade (1942)


Marlene Dietrich, Cary Grant

Blonde Venus (1932)


Mae West, Cary Grant

She Done Him Wrong

Universal Studios

VHS West sings "A Guy What Takes His Time"

Copyright 2008 - JazzBiographies.com - All Rights Reserved          Permission and contact information