From ‘Polka Dots And Moonbeams’ to ‘Darn That Dream’ , we have mixed 21 ‘Jazz‘ tunes written or co-written by ‘James Van Heusen‘. It has Bobby Darin, Chico Hamilton, Frank Sinatra, Oscar Peterson and many more.
Jimmy Van Heusen: His close friends called him Chester or “Chet”. …. He was once expelled from Central High in Syracuse after performing the satire song “My Canary Has Circles Under His Eyes.” The student body loved the song but the teachers thought otherwise.
Film Reference : Before being summoned by Hollywood, Van Heusen was a fledgling composer who used his photographic musical memory to transcribe songs for a radio orchestra long before any sheet music was available. His special talent allowed him to dissect hit songs and understand them.
Answers.com : While at Syracuse, Van Heusen became friends with a classmate, Jerry Arlen, the younger brother of pop composer Harold Arlen. With the elder Arlen’s help, Van Heusen wrote songs for the Cotton Club revue, including “Harlem Hospitality.”
BambooWeb : In the early 1940s, Van Heusen teamed up with lyricist Johnny Burke and wrote a number of songs for movies starring Bing Crosby, including “It’s Always You” and “Swinging on a Star”. By the 1950s he was working with a new lyricists, Sammy Cahn, and wrote a number of popular songs for television series, including “High Hopes” in 1959.
Barnes&Noble : The duo Burke/Van Heusen moved to Hollywood and wrote for stage musicals and films throughout the ’40s and early ’50s, including “Swinging on a Star” for the 1944 Academy Award winning picture Going My Way, and over 20 Bing Crosby productions.
American Songwriter : He remained a bachelor until he was 57, flew his own planes, and according to Brook, loved being the life of the party. “He was a night-owl,” said Brook. “He loved working to the wee hours in the morning, and was considered the go-to guy because he was usually available.
Wikipedia : Christened Edward Chester Babcock, He named himself after the famous shirt makers, Phillips-Van Heusen. He retired in the late 1970s, and died in Rancho Mirage, California in 1990, at the age of 77.