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Show TunesThe Songs, Shows, and Careers of Broadway’s Major Composers$
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Steven Suskin

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195314076

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195314076.001.0001

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Jerome Kern

Jerome Kern

Born: January 27, 1885, New York, New York

Died: November 11, 1945, New York, New York

Chapter:
(p.2) (p.3) Jerome Kern
Source:
Show Tunes
Author(s):

Steven Suskin

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195314076.003.0001

This chapter examines the work of Jerome Kearn. It begins with an extended commentary of his career, followed by details on productions, with data and song information. Kern was raised in Newark, New Jersey, where his father was a merchant. In 1902, Kern left high school to become a song plugger for Edward B. Marks’s Lyceum Publishing Company. Kern was already writing songs for amateur groups, and Lyceum shortly issued his first published piece, the 1902 piano solo At the Casino. Determined to write for Broadway, Kern went looking for a theater music publisher and in 1903 signed on with—and soon bought an interest in—a small house called T. B. Harms. T. B. Harms was owned by Max Dreyfus, whose future imprints included Harms, Inc., and Chappell. When Kern’s Broadway success began attracting novice composers, Dreyfus selected the most promising and convinced producers to hire them; newcomers like Gershwin, Youmans, Porter, Rodgers, and Schwartz.

Keywords:   Jerome Kern, composers, Broadway musicals, T. B Harms, show tunes, Max Dreyfuss

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