Sunday, October 03, 2010

Mae West: Johnny Burke

When Paramount was in production with their latest MAE WEST vehicle "Go West, Young Man," the studio turned to Johnny Burke.
• • Born in Antioch, California in the month of October — — on 3 October 1908 — — John Burke was a light-hearted American lyricist. It was 1936 when the pianist and vaudeville songwriter was hired by Paramount Pictures, where he would turn out movie music for two decades.
• • After Burke moved to Hollywood, he was paired with composer Arthur Johnston (who created lots of songs for Mae), and they were assigned to their first project: "Go West, Young Man," released that November. No hits emerged from that film, however, Burke and Johnston’s next project was more successful. They were lent, along with Bing Crosby, to Columbia Pictures and had five songs in "Pennies from Heaven," including the title song, which topped the hit parade for Crosby and earned an Academy Award nomination.
• • Between 1930
1956, Johnny Burke penned tunes for almost 50 motion pictures often with his collaborators James V. Monaco or Arthur Johnston. Occasionally, he composed as well. He specialized in optimistic even whimsical songs.
• • On 25 February 1964, Johnny Burke died in New York. He was 56 years old and very fondly remembered for his million-sellers such as “Swinging on a Star," "Moonlight Becomes You,” “Sunday, Monday or Always,” as well as other notable numbers.
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• • Photo: • • Mae West • • 1936 • •
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