Burton Lane, born in 1912, is known – in the words of the New York Times – as “one of the most respected American songwriters.”
Lane began composing when he was just 15, writing songs for musical reviews. His most revered work is the rich, classic Broadway score for Finian’s Rainbow. Its songs, with lyrics by EY Harburg, include “Old Devil Moon,” “How Are Things in Glocca Morra?” and “Look to the Rainbow.” Among countless artists who’ve recorded them are Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennet, and Frank Sinatra.
In Hollywood, collaborating with, among others, Howard Dietz, Harold Adamson, Frank Loesser, and Ira Gershwin, Lane composed standards such as “Everything I Have is Yours” and “How About You?” the latter originally sung by Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland.
With Alan J Lerner, he wrote the score for the movie Royal Wedding, in which Jane Powell sang the Oscar-nominated “Too Late Now” and Fred Astaire, in one of his most storied and spectacular numbers, appeared to dance on the walls and ceilings. The music he danced to was Lanes, “you’re all the World to Me.”
Lane and Lerner teamed again for the Broadway musical “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever.” In addition to the acclaimed title song, are highly praised, melodious numbers such as “She Wasn’t You” and “Melinda.” The film version stared Barbara Streisand with a featured role played by Jack Nicholson.
In 1972, Burton Lane was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. He died in 1997.
Alan Jay Lerner, Burton Lane
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