Founded Capitol Records

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B.G. De Sylva

Inductee
Born/Died
Inducted

Collaboator with SHOF founder Johnny Mercer

George Gard De Sylva, “Buddy”, was born in New York City on January 27, 1895. Growing up in California, he graduated from the University of Southern Cal. Soon after graduation he was introduced to Al Jolson, who became enamored with songs De Sylva had written for the Jolson hit show Sinbad. In 1918, the pair went to New York and De Sylva began working as a songwriter on Tin Pan Alley.

In 1925, he teamed up with lyricist Lew Brown and composer Ray Henderson and began the most successful songwriting/publishing trio of their era. The team collaborated until 1930 when their publishing firm was sold and De Sylva moved to Hollywood under contract with Fox Studios.

He wrote entire film scores for Sunny Side Up, The Singing Fool and Just Imagine. In 1941, De Sylva became the Executive Producer at Paramount, a position he would hold until 1944. During his tenure at Paramount, he produced The Little Colonel, The Littlest Rebel, Captain January, Poor Little Rich Girl and Stowaway.

Throughout his career, De Sylva produced and wrote for Broadway shows such as George White’s Scandals (1922, 1923, 1924, 1925, 1926 and 1928), Tell Me More, Captain Jinks, Queen High, Good News!, Manhattan Mary, Hold Everything, Follow Thru, La La Lucille, Bombo, Orange Blossoms, The Yankee Princess, Sweet Little Devil, Tell Me More, Three Cheers, Take a Chance, DuBarry Was a Lady, Panama Hattie, Louisiana Purchase and Flying High.

Other than Brown and Henderson, De Sylva worked with several composers and lyricists including Gus Kahn, Al Jolson, George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Vincent Rose, Louis Silvers, Joe Meyer, Victor Herbert, Emmerich Kalman, Ira Gershwin, Ballard Macdonald, Lewis Gensler, James Hanley, Nacio Herb Brown, Richard Whiting and Vincent Youmans.

The De Sylva catalog include “The Best Things in Life Are Free”, “Sunny Side Up”, “I’ll Say She Does”, “You Ain’t Heard Nothin’ Yet”, “Wishing”, “Memory Lane”, “Why Do I Love You?”, “Whip-poor-will”, “Look for the Silver Lining”, “Avalon”, “April Showers”, “In Arcady”, “California Here I Come”, “A Kiss in the Dark”, “I’ll Build a Stairway to Paradise”, “Do It Again”, “I Won’t Say I Will but I Won’t Say I Won’t”, “Somebody Loves Me”, “Keep Smiling at Trouble”, “Hello “Tucky”, “If You Knew Susie”, “Just a Cottage Small by a Waterfall”, “Alabamy Bound”, “Tell Me More”, “Kickin’ the Clouds Away”, “When Day is Done”, “Lucky Day”, “Birth of the Blues”, “Black Bottom”, “It all Depends on You”, “Good News!”, “The Varsity Drag”, “Just Imagine”, “Lucky in Love”, “Broken Hearted”, “Just a Memory”, “So Blue”, “I’m on the Crest of a Wave”, “You’re the Cream in My Coffee”, “Button Up Your Overcoat”, “Sonny Boy”, “Together”, “My Sin”, “I’m a Dreamer, Aren’t We All?”, “If I Had a Talking Picture of You”, “Little Pal”, “Without Love”, “Thank Your Father”, “Red Hot Chicago”, “You Try Somebody Else”, “Eadie Was a Lady”, “My Lover”, “I Want to Be With You”, “Oh, How I Long to Belong to You”, “Rise “n Shine”, “You’re an Old Smoothie”, “Should I Be Sweet?”, “Gather Lip Rouge While You May” and “Polly Wolly Doodle”.

Buddy De Sylva died in Los Angeles, California on July 11, 1950.

Success as songwriter, composer, film producer and record executive

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Links

Acknowledgements

Discography:

ASCAP Ace Database (www.ascap.com)

ASCAP Biographical Dictionary, 3rd Edition. Copyright 1966.

Broadway Database (www.idbd.com)

Green, Stanley. “Broadway Musicals: Show by Show, Fifth Edition”. Hal Leonard Corporation, 1996.

Internet Movie Database, Inc. (www.imdb.com)

Green, Stanley. “Hollywood Musicals: Year by Year”. Hal Leonard Publishing Corp., 1990.

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Archives (www.oscar.com)