Today is the birthday of Mack Gordon (Morris Gittler, 1904-1959). Born in Warsaw, he moved to New York as a child and broke into vaudeville as a singing comic in the late 20s and 30s. By 1929, his songs were being used in Hollywood films; by 1931, he was also contributing to Broadway musicals. Teamed with partners like Harry Revel and Harry Warren, he wrote or co-wrote over 120 standards, including “I’ve Got a Gal in Kalamazoo”, “Chatanooga Choo-Choo”, “Did You Ever See a Dream Walking?”, “You Make Me Feel So Young”, and “Down Argentine Way”, among countless more.
Here’s a nice little tribute to Gordon and Revel someone set to their 1932 tune “Walking on Air”
To find out more about the variety arts past and present, 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 don’t miss Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, to be released by Bear Manor Media in 2013.