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Jack Lawrence

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Biography

There are at least 2 artists named Jack Lawrence.

1. Jack Lawrence (April 7, 1912 – March 15, 2009) was an American Academy Award-nominated songwriter. He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1975.

Lawrence was born in Brooklyn, New York to an Orthodox Jewish family. He wrote songs while still a child, but because of parental pressure went to school to study podiatry. He got his doctoral degree in 1932, the same year that his first song was published, and immediately decided that songwriting, rather than podiatry, would be his career. That song, “Play, Fiddle, Play,” won international fame and he became a member of ASCAP that year at only 20.

“Yes, My Darling Daughter,” introduced by Dinah Shore on Eddie Cantor’s radio program, was Shore’s first record. Another Jack Lawrence song that introduced a new artist was “If I Didn’t Care,” which introduced the world to The Ink Spots. And, although Frank Sinatra was already a well-known big band singer, Lawrence’s “All or Nothing at All” was Sinatra’s first solo hit.

Lawrence also wrote the lyrics for “Tenderly,” Rosemary Clooney’s trademark song (in collaboration with composer Walter Lloyd Gross), as well as the English language lyric to “Beyond the Sea” (based on Charles Trenet’s French language song “La mer”), the trademark song for Bobby Darin. Another French song for which Lawrence wrote an English lyric was “La goualante de pauvre Jean,” becoming “The Poor People of Paris.”

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