Today is the birthday of Con Conrad (Conrad Dober, 1891-1938). A New York native, he started out playing piano in a Harlem movie house as a teenager, and gradually worked his way up to playing Keith vaudeville houses. He published his first song “Down in Dear New Orleans” in 1912, but it wasn’t until the 1920s that he became a major success writing a ton of songs we associate with the period, such as “Margie”, “Ma, He’s Making Eyes at Me”, “You’ve Got to See Mama Every Night” and “Memory Lane”. Between 1921 and 1928 he wrote songs for a dozen Broadway shows, then moved out to Hollywood, where he contributed tunes to dozens of films, including Eddie Cantor’s Palmy Days (1931) and The Gay Divorcee with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers (1934) for which he co-wrote the Oscar-winning “The Continental”. Here it is:
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