Tin Pan Alley and Hollywood lyricist in 1920s

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Sam Lewis


ASCAP Charter member (1914)

Lyricist Sam M. Lewis was born in New York City on October 25, 1885. He attended New York public schools and began his career singing in cafes throughout the city. Lewis began writing around 1912 and from 1916 into the 1930’s his principal lyrical collaborator was Joe Young.

Lewis contributed to the Broadway musical The Laugh Parade and, beginning in 1922, had songs included in a handful of Hollywood musicals including Squibs Wins the Calcutta Sweep, The Singing Fool, Wolf Song, Spring is Here, Yours Sincerely, Round-up Time in Texas, The Fighting Seabees, The Merry Monahans, The Emperor Waltz and Nightfall.

The Lewis catalog boasts standards such as “Dinah”, “When You’re a Long, Long Way from Home”, “My Mother’s Rosary”, “Come on and Baby Me”, “Baby Blue”, “For All We Know”, “Arrah, Go on, I’m Gonna Go Back to Oregon”, “If I Knock the “L” Out of Kelly”, “Where Did Robinson Crusoe Go With Friday on Saturday Night?”, “I’m All Bound “Round With the Mason-Dixon Line”, “Why Do They All Take the Night Boat to Albany?”, “Hello, Central, Give Me No Man’s Land”, “Rockabye Your Baby With a Dixie Melody”, “Just a Baby’s Prayer at Twilight”, “How Ya Gonna Keep “Em Down on the Farm?”, “Don’t Cry, Frenchy, Don’t Cry”, “You’re a Million Miles from Nowhere”, “Who Played Poker With Pocahontas When John Smith Went Away?”, “I’d Love to Fall Asleep and Wake Up in My Mammy’s Arms”, “My Mammy”, “Tuck Me to Sleep in My Old “Tucky Home”, “Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue”, “I’m Sitting on Top of the World”, “In a Little Spanish Town”, “King for a Day”, “Laugh, Clown, Laugh”, “Then You’ve Never Been Blue”, “Got Her Off My Hands but Can’t Get Her Off My Mind”, “Cryin’ for the Carolines”, “I Kiss Your Hand, Madame”, “Telling It to the Daisies”, “Too Late”, “Just Friends”, “Street of Dreams”, “Lawd, You Made the Night Too Long”, “One Minute to One”, “I Believe in Miracles”, “A Beautiful Lady in Blue”, “Put Your Heart in a Song”, “Gloomy Sunday”, “Gonna Hitch My Wagon to a Star”, “I Heard a Forest Praying”, “What’s the Matter With Me?” and “Have a Little Faith In Me”.

Along with Young, Lewis collaborated with Fred Ahlert, Walter Donaldson, Bert Grant, Harry Warren, Jean Schwartz, George Meyer, Ted Fiorito, J. Fred Coots, Ray Henderson, Victor Young, Peter DeRose and Harry Akst.

Sam Lewis was a charter member of ASCAP in 1914 and later a charter member of The Friars. He passed away in New York City on November 22, 1959.

Wrote "Dinah" and "For All We Know"