Charter SHOF Inductee and ASCAP member
Top Tin Pan Alley songwriter, and Vaudeville dancer and comedian
Sidney Clare was born in New York, New York on August 15, 1892. In the early days of Tin Pan Alley, Clare performed in Vaudeville acts as a dancer and comedian and eventually as a writer of special material. His fame would come, however, in the music he wrote for over 50 films.
In 1933, Clare moved to Hollywood and wrote the entire score for the first RKO film, Street Girl. Films that followed include Tanned Legs, Transatlantic Merry-Go-Round, Sing and Be Happy, Hit the Deck, Jimmy and Sally, Bright Eyes, The Littlest Rebel and Rascals.
His collaborations with composers Con Conrad, Cliff Friend, Lew Pollack, Sam Stept, Lew Brown, Richard Whiting, Jay Gorney, Harry Warren, Vincent Youmans, Oscar Levant, Jimmy Monaco and Buddy De Sylva produced a catalog of hits that remain timeless in their appeal. Several of Clare’s songs written in the days of Tin Pan Alley big bands and swing music were revived as hits for rock & roll and contemporary jazz artists. In 1940, Dick Robertson had a top twenty hit with “Ma, He’s Making Eyes At Me” and the song was revived in 1974 and a hit for Lena Zavaroni. In 1931, Gene Austin had the # 3 Billboard hit recording of “Please Don’t Talk About Me When I’m Gone” and in 1953 Johnnie Ray also had a hit recording. “I’d Climb the Highest Mountain” was a top ten hit for Al Jolson and continues to be one of the most performed songs by contemporary jazz artists.
Other catalog highlights include “On the Good Ship Lollipop”, “What Do You Mean by Loving Somebody Else?”, “I’m Missin’ Mammy’s Kissin’”, “Weep No More My Mammy”, “Oo-Oo Ernest”, “A New Kind of Man”, “Big Butter and Egg Man”, “Me and the Boy Friend”, “We’re Back Together Again”, “Then I’ll Be Happy”, “Miss Annabelle Lee”, “One Sweet Letter From You”, “Lovable and Sweet”, “My Dream Memory”, “Keeping Myself for You”, “You’re My Thill”, “I’ve Got You on Top of My List”, “It Was a Night in June” and “Polly Wolly Doodle”.
Sidney Clare died in Los Angeles, California on August 29, 1972.