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Biography

Vernon Duke (October 10, 1903 - January 16, 1969) was a Russian-American composer/songwriter.

Vernon Duke was born Vladimir Dukelsky in Parafianovo, Belarus, then Russia. Duke was a child prodigy, entering Kiev Conservatory in his pre-teens. He arrived in the United States in 1921. His first full Broadway score was for a 1932 revue called "Walk a Little Faster." His first full musical comedy was "Cabin in the Sky" in 1940.

He is best known for "I Can't Get Started" with lyrics by Ira Gershwin, "April In Paris" with lyrics by E. Y. ("Yip") Harburg (1932), and "What Is There To Say" for The Ziegfeld Follies of 1934 also with Harburg. He wrote the words and music for "Autumn in New York" (1934).

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