BURTON LANE Biography - Theater, Opera and Movie personalities


Biography » theater opera and movie personalities » burton lane


Name: Burton Lane                                                                 
Born: 2 February 1912                                                             
Died: 5 January 1997                                                               
Burton Lane (February 2, 1912, New York City - January 5, 1997, New York City)     
was an American composer and lyricist.                                             
Lane (real name Burton Levy) was best known for his Broadway musicals, Finian's   
Rainbow (1947) and On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (1965). He also wrote the   
music for the less successful Broadway shows, Hold On to Your Hats (1940),         
Laffing Room Only (1944), Junior Miss (1957), and Carmelina (1979), the latter     
with lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, who had also written lyrics to Lane's music for   
On a Clear Day and the film Royal Wedding (1951). Lane also wrote music for       
films such as Dancing Lady, Babes on Broadway, and Some Like it Hot. For a time,   
he was president of the American Guild of Authors and Composers, during which     
period he campaigned against music piracy. He also served three terms on the       
board of directors of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers   
Lane's best-known songs include "Old Devil Moon," "How are Things In Glocca       
Morra?", "Too Late Now," "How About You?", and the title song from "On a Clear     
Day." He shared a Grammy Award in 1965 for Best Broadway Cast Album of the year   
(On a Clear Day You Can See Forever).                                             
Lane is credited by Songwriters' Hall of Fame                                     
with discovering the 11-year-old Frances Gumm (Judy Garland). He caught her       
sisters' act at the Paramount theater in Hollywood which featured a movie and a   
live stage show. The sisters, Susie and Mary Jane, brought on the kid, Frances,   
who sang "Zing Went the Strings of My Heart". Lane immediately called Jack         
Robbins, head of the music department at MGM, and told her he'd just heard a       
great new talent.                                                                 
Robbins told him to bring her in next day for an audition which Lane did.         
Robbins was knocked out by the little girl's voice (Lane played the audition       
piano for her), rushed upstairs and dragged Louis B. Mayer down to listen to her   
belt out some songs. Mayer was so impressed he ordered every writer, director     
and producer on the lot to hear her with the result that the audition, which       
began at 9 am, finished at 7:30 pm. But Frances (Judy) was signed, and that was   
the start of her great career. Because of circumstance, and contractural           
arrangements, Burton Lane didn't work with her again for seven years (Babes on     
Broadway), but it was definitely he who discovered her.