Leading Tin Pan Alley songwriter

Browse Song Catalog: ASCAP

L. Wolfe Gilbert


Wrote for film, TV and radio

Louis Wolfe Gilbert was born in Odessa, Russia in 1886 and was one of the most prolific lyricists of Tin Pan Alley.

Gilbert's notable career began in the late 1900's as a vaudeville entertainer where he toured with John L. Sullivan and later with The Ragtime Octet produced by Albert Decourville. In 1912, Gilbert had his first songwriting success with "Waiting For The Robert E. Lee", a song he co-wrote with Lewis Muir. The song was published that year by F.A. Mills and remains one of the greatest standards of the era.

In 1915, Gilbert settled in Hollywood, California writing for films and also participated in the Eddie Cantor radio show. He made many appearances on radio and TV and he was one of the first songwriters to set up an independent publishing firm for the purpose of promoting his own catalog. In 1941, Gilbert was elected as a director of ASCAP, a post he served until 1944.

His chief collaborators include Lewis Muir, Mabel Wayne, Abel Baer, Ben Oakland, Jay Gorney, Nat Shilkret, Richard Fall and Anatole Friedland.

Highlights from his catalog include "Waiting for the Robert E. Lee", "By Heck", "Down Yonder", "O Katharina", "I Miss My Swiss (My Swiss Miss Misses Me)", "Ramona", "Jeannine, I Dream of Lillac Time", "My Mother's Eyes", "The Right Kind of Man", "Dancing To Save My Soul", "The Peanut Vendor", "I'm on A Diet Of Love", "Green Eyes", Mama Inez", "Marta", "Poor Kid", "Miss Elizabeth Brown" and "Maria My Own".

L. Wolfe Gilbert died in Los Angeles, CA on July 12, 1970.

Early ASCAP member and director