Today is the birthday of Ted Koehler (1894-1973). Born in Washington DC, he began his career playing pianos for nickelodeons, and then began writing songs for singers to perform in vaudeville and nightclubs. By the 1930s he was writing shows for Broadway revues like Earl Carroll’s Vanities and George White’s Music Hall Varieties. From there it was on to Hollywood, where he wrote tunes for dozens of musical films.
Collaborating with Harold Arlen, he wrote “Get Happy”, “Stormy Weather”, and “Let’s Fall in Love”. He also wrote with Harry Warren, Ray Henderson and many others. Other tunes that bear his name include “Between the Devil and The Deep Blue Sea”, “I Love a Parade” and scores more.
To find out more 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