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Hal Leonard


Gave us "I Only Have Eyes For You"


Al Dubin was born on June 10, 1891 in Zurich, Switzerland. His family, originally from Russia, moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania when he was two. His father was a medical doctor and his mother was a science teacher; neither wanted him to pursue a career in music. By age 14, Dubin was cutting his classes at school to see Broadway shows, and to spend time on West 28th Street (the “Tin Pan Alley” district) where he tried to sell special material to vaudeville entertainers.

Dubin chose to complete high school at a private institution, Perkiomen Seminary, an unusual choice for a Jewish boy. He excelled in athletics, and was captain of the football team, as well as a track and basketball star, however, his love of alcohol, girls, and nights out often resulted in suspensions, and just a few days before graduation, he was expelled from the Seminary.

He enrolled in medical school, but was expelled from that in 1911. After that he became associated with the Witmark Music Publishing company, and worked for them as a staff writer for many years. In 1916, he wrote his first hit song with composer Rennie Carmack, "Twas Only an Irishman's Dream." However, no successes followed, and he began working as a singing waiter in a bar, until he entered the army in World War 1. After the war, he resumed songwriting, working with various composers. Some of his early hits were "Halfway to Heaven," written with J. Russell Robinson, and "A Cup of Coffee, a Sandwich and You," written with Joseph Meyer. Dubin's daughter said that the inspiration for the title…

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Discography Highlights

I ONLY HAVE EYES FOR YOU Al Dubin, Harry Warren
Remick Music Corp./Warner Bros, Inc.

Witmark M & Sons

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