Family & Companions
Celebrated composer of songs (from 1902) and Broadway scores (from 1912). Kern is probably best remembered for "Show Boat," which in fact ended a run of relatively unsuccessful stage works in 1927, and for the songs "Ol' Man River" and "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes." Although he was persuaded by actress Billie Burke to compose the accompaniment for "Gloria's Romance" (1916), Kern's next work directly for film was not until 1930. He settled in Hollywood in 1934, adapting his musicals for the screen as well as composing some wonderful original scores (e.g. the Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire musical, "Swing Time" 1936). The MGM musical biopic "Till the Cloud Roll By" (1946) was a highly glamorized and somewhat fictionalized retelling of the life of one of the most important composers in the history of popular music.