Fred Rose was born in Evansville, Indiana on August 24, 1897. Raised by relatives in St. Louis, Rose attended St. Louis public schools and played the piano for tips in various St. Louis saloons as a young boy.
In his teens, Rose moved to Chicago where he became a singer and pianist and songwriter. His first success came with “Red Hot Mama”, written for Sophie Tucker. Rose moved to Nashville where he had a 15-minute radio show called “Freddie Rose’s Song Shop”, however the program was short-lived and Rose moved to New York to try his luck on Tin Pan Alley.
In New York in the 1930’s, he was introduced to Gene Autry, who was then at the height of his career. Rose and Autry began collaborating on songs and some of the hits produced included “Be Honest With Me” and “Tears on My Pillow”.
In 1942, Roy Acuff, a Grand Ole Opry star, decided to set up a music publishing company in Nashville and asked Rose to be his partner. Rose accepted and Acuff-Rose, the first publishing company in Nashville was born with the goal “that no man, or girl, that entered our door would be cheated our of a song, or one penny of anything that they’ve got coming.” Acuff-Rose would publish and promote the songs of country music legends such as Hank Williams.
As a songwriter, Rose collaborated with various composers and lyricists, such as Hy Heath, Edward G. Nelson, Steve Nelson, Walter Hirsch and Gene Autry, the Rose catalog includes such hits as “‘Deed I Do”, “Honest and Truly”, “Don’t Bring Me Posies”, “Roly Poly”, “Take These Chains from My Heart”, “I’ll Never Stand in Your Way”, “Hang Your Head in Shame”, “Crazy Heart”, “No One Will Ever Know”, “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain”, “Just Like Me”, “You Know How Talk Gets Around”, “Texarkana Baby”, “Kaw-Liga”, “Before You Call”, “Setting the Woods on Fire” and “Worried Over You”.
Fred Rose died in Nashville on December 1, 1954. In 1961, he was elected into the Country Music Hall of Fame as a charter member.
Lyricist Carolyn Leigh was born in New York City on August 21, 1926.
After attending Queens College in New York she worked as a copyrighter for radio stations and advertising agencies.
Collaborating with composers such as Cy Coleman and Moose Charlap, Leigh also wrote the Broadway…
Don Raye was born Donald MacRae Wilhoite, Jr. in Washington, D. C. on March 16, 1909.
After graduating from New York University, Raye began his career appearing in vaudeville shows, touring extensively throughout the United States and Europe. In 1935, he organized a nightclub act in New York and began writing his own material for the show. Under contract with film studios, Raye moved to Hollywood in 1940, however, in 1941, he joined the US Army and served during World War II. After the War, Raye returned to songwriting and produced a catalog of hit standards.
Throughout his career, Raye worked with several collaborators, most notably, Gene De Paul. Other collaborators included Hughie Prince, Pat Johnston, Harry James, Freddie Slack, Artie Shaw, Charles Shavers and Benny Carter.
The Raye catalog includes “Rhythm in My Nursery Rhymes”, “Why Begin Again?”, “He’s My Guy”, “Cow Cow Boogie”, “Mister Five By Five”, “Milkman, Keep Those Bottles Quiet”, “Star Eyes”, “I’ll Remember April”, “You Don’t Know What Love Is”, “Irresistible You”, “Music Makers”, “The House of Blue Lights”, “Pig Foot Pete”, “A Song Was Born”, “Your Red Wagon”, “They Were Doing the Mambo”, “Down the Road a Piece”, “Scrub Me Mama With a Boogie Beat”, “Beat Me Daddy Eight to the Bar”, “Rhumboogie”, “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”, “This Is My Country”, “Traveling Down a Lonely Road”, “Domino”, “Too Little Time”, “Ballad of Thunder Road”, “I’m Looking Out the Window”, “I Know What God Is” and “Gentle Is My Love”.
Don Raye died in 1985.
Gene De Paul was born in New York City on June 17, 1919. Trained as a classical pianist, he had a successful career as a composer and arranger. In his early years, he performed as a pianist in dance orchestras and toured theaters as a singer and arranger for vocal groups. He also served in the US army during World War II.
Under contract to film studios, he contributed to several Hollywood film scores in the 1940’s and 50’s, most notably In the Navy, Keep ’Em Flying, Moonlight in Hawaii, Behind the Eight Ball, When Johnny Comes Marching Home, Two Tickets to London, What’s Buzzin’, Cousin?, Crazy House, I Dood It, Hi-Ya Chum, Always a Bridesmaid, Broadway Rhythm, Hi, Good Lookin”, Murder in the Blue Room, A Date With Judy, A Song is Born, So Dear To My Heart, They Live By Night, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, You Can’t Run Away From It and Li’l Abner. De Paul also wrote the Broadway score to Li’l Abner, with lyricist Johnny Mercer.
Other than Mercer, De Paul collaborated with Don Raye, Carolyn Leigh, Charles Rinker, Bob Russell and Charles Rinker.
Catalog highlights include “I’ll Remember April”, “Mister Five by Five”, “He’s My Guy”, “Milkman, Keep Those Bottles Quiet”, “Cow Cow Boogie”, “Love Me”, “Irresistible You”, “When You’re In Love”, “Star Eyes”, “When You’re In Love”, “Lonesome Polecat”, “Sobbin’ Women”, “Love in a Home”, “If I Had My Druthers”, “The Country’s in the Very Best of Hands”, “Your Red Wagon”, “A Song Was Born”, “Pigfoot Pete”, “Teach Me Tonight”, “You Can’t Run Away from It” and “Temporarily”.
Gene De Paul died on February 27, 1988 in Northridge, California.
Saul Chaplin was born Saul Kaplin in Brooklyn, New York on February 19, 1912, and attended New York University's School of Commerce with the intention of becoming an accountant. A self-taught pianist, he earned money while in school by playing with local bands. One night in 1933 he was approached…