Today is the birthday of Lew Pollack (1895-1946). A New York native he started out as a boy singer with Walter Damrosch’s choral group. He sang and played vaudeville and composed music for silent films. He became an important Tin Pan Alley songwriter, collaborating with such big wheels as Erno Rapee, Ned Washington and Jack Yellen. Songs he had a hand in included “Charmaine”, “Diane”, and the popular children’s song “Go In and Out the Window”. He also composed the scores to such films as Pigskin Parade, One in a Million, Life Begins n College, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm and Captain January.
Here’s the Pollack tune “At the Codfish Ball” from Captain January with Shirley Temple:
To find out about the history of vaudeville, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.
And check out my new book: Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Media, also available from amazon.com etc etc etc