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Legacy spanned two world wars


Walter Donaldson was born on February 15, 1893 in Brooklyn, New York. One of eleven children in a music-loving family, his early musical talent bloomed under the tutelage of his mother, a classically trained pianist and teacher. As a boy he wrote songs for school productions, demonstrated sheet music in five and ten cent stores, worked as a pianist in neighborhood nickelodeons and at a Brighton Beach hotel. After a brief flirtation with the world of finance and Wall Street, Donaldson began his professional music career as a staff pianist in Tin Pan Alley.

In 1915 he wrote his first hit songs, and continued to write throughout his enlistment in the army during the First World War, frequently entertaining the troops and at War Bond Rallies. Along the way, Donaldson’s songs were regularly featured in Vaudeville and many shows.

His legendary songs of the 1910s and 1920s include: “How ‘Ya Gonna Keep ‘Em Down On The Farm (After They’ve Seen Paree),” “The Daughter Of Rosie O’Grady,” “My Little Bimbo Down On The Bamboo Isle,” “My Mammy,” My Buddy,” “Carolina In The Morning,” “Yes Sir, That’s My Baby,” “(What Can I Say) After I Say I’m Sorry,” “At Sundown,” “My Blue Heaven,” “I Wonder Where My Baby Is Tonight,” “Because My Baby Don’t Mean Maybe Now,” “That Certain Party,” “Don’t Be Angry,” “He’s The Last Word,” “Changes,” “Thinking Of You,” “There Ain’t No Maybe In My Baby’s Eyes” and “Oh Baby!” … among hundreds of others.

In 1928 Donaldson formed his own music publishing firm: Donaldson, Douglas and Gumble, with partners Walter Douglas and Mose Gumble. Notably,…

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Discography Highlights

CAROLINA IN THE MORNING Gus Kahn, Walter Donaldson

MY BLUE HEAVEN George Whiting, Walter Donaldson
George Whiting Publishing/Donaldson Publishing Co.

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