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James Van Heusen

James Van Heusen

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Also Known As: Edward Chester Babcock, James Van Heusen, Jimmy Van Heusen Died: February 6, 1990
Born: January 26, 1913 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Syracuse, New York, USA Profession: songwriter, composer, pianist, radio station announcer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Taking his name from the shirt manufacturer, Van Heusen began writing songs for films in 1940, first in partnership with Johnny Burke and then, after 1956 with Sammy Cahn. A composer with a highly reliable ear for catchy ditties and dramatic ballads alike, he wrote such Oscar-winners as "Swinging on a Star" from "Going My Way" (1944) and "High Hopes" from "A Hole in the Head" (1959). Van Heusen wrote 76 tunes recorded by Frank Sinatra (more than any other composer) and the songs for six of the seven Bing Crosby-Bob Hope-Dorothy Lamour "Road" comedy films.

Taking his name from the shirt manufacturer, Van Heusen began writing songs for films in 1940, first in partnership with Johnny Burke and then, after 1956 with Sammy Cahn. A composer with a highly reliable ear for catchy ditties and dramatic ballads alike, he wrote such Oscar-winners as "Swinging on a Star" from "Going My Way" (1944) and "High Hopes" from "A Hole in the Head" (1959). Van Heusen wrote 76 tunes recorded by Frank Sinatra (more than any other composer) and the songs for six of the seven Bing Crosby-Bob Hope-Dorothy Lamour "Road" comedy films.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

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Milestones close milestones

:
Began writing songs while in high school; placed several songs in Cotton Club revues through friendship with Jerry Arlen, Harold Arlen's older brother; renamed himself after Van Heusen shirt company
:
Worked as staff pianist for several NY music publishing houses
1939:
First successful song, "Darn That Dream"
1940:
Teamed with lyricist Johnny Burke to write for Paramount; first score was "Love Thy Neighbor"
1956:
Began collaboration with lyricist Sammy Cahn
1965:
Co-wrote (with Cahn) two unsuccessful Broadway musicals, "Skyscraper" and "Walking Happy"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Syracuse University: Syracuse , New York -

Notes

"Jimmy Van Heusen was an architect of melody. When we were writing together, if I would ask him to add even a grace note to the song, he would sit down and write a whole new melody. He was also one of the world's greatest swingers. He used to joke that he ought to get more than 50 percent of a song because he spent so much time with Sinatra."--Sammy Cahn (NY Times obituary, 2/8/90)

He was elected to the Songwriters Hall of Fame when it was founded (1971).

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Bobbe Van Heusen. Singer. Married from 1969 until his death; performed on Broadway and in vaudeville with her sisters as the Brox Sisters; born c. 1901; died on May 2, 1999 at age 98; formerly married to agent William Perlberg.

Contributions

ComeFlyWithMe ( 2008-10-28 )

Source: not available

1944 Academy Award for Best Song-Swinging on a Star-in the movie: Going My Way

1956 Emmy For Best Musical Contribution-Love and Marriage-in the TV series: Our Town featuring Frank Sinatra

1957 Academy Award for Best Song- All the Way- in the movie :The Joker is Wild

1959 Academy Award for Best Song- High Hopes- in the movie: A Hole in the Head

1963 Academy Award for Best Song-Call Me Irresponsible- in the movie: Pappas Delicate Condition

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