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Burton Lane

born Feb. 2 1912, New York, NY
died Jan. 5, 1997, New York, NY

After dropping out of high school, Lane was one of the many composers who spent time in the evocative profession of song-plugging. His first collaborator was Harold Adamson, and at the age of only 18 he contributed songs to Broadway revues, including the song Heigh-Ho, The Gang's All Here.

Lane went to Hollywood in 1933 and by his mid-twenties he had contributed songs to several movies, working with lyricists of the calibre of Ralph Freed, Ted Koehler, and Frank Loesser. One of his Loesser songs was Dancing on a Dime.

In 1940, Lane's first Broadway musical Hold Onto Your Hats, with lyrics by Yip Harburg was produced. Al Jolson and Martha Raye starred. However for the rest of his career he concentrated on his successes in Hollywood, writing with Alan Jay Lerner and others, making only occasional forays into Broadway. The three remaining shows, consisted of two hits, and one interesting failure. They were :
  • Finian's Rainbow with Harburg, 1947
  • On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (Alan Jay Lerner) 1965
  • Carmelina (Alan Jay Lerner) 1980
In 1949, Lane, was invited by close friend Dorothy Fields to collaborate with her on proposed musical Arms and the Girl. However he disliked the book, and declined. In 1957 however, the pair did work together, on the TV musical Junior Miss. They were subsequently scheduled to write the score for By The Beautiful Sea, but once again, Lane withdrew, and this time Arthur Schwartz took over.

For more information on Burton Lane, see the Tunesmiths Database : Burton Lane

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