John Frederick Coots
|John Frederick Coots|
|Birth name||John Frederick Coots|
|Also known as||J. Frederick Coots|
|Born||May 2, 1897|
|Origin||Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A.|
|Died||April 8, 1985
New York City, U.S.A.
|Associated acts||Haven Gillespie|
He is most famous for the song "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town", a song that became one of the biggest best sellers in American music history.
Among his songs are:
- Santa Claus Is Coming to Town
- You Go To My Head
- Louisiana Fairy Tale
- For All We Know
- I Still Get a Thrill (Thinking of You)
He wrote the first three songs with the lyricist Haven Gillespie. "Louisiana Fairy Tale" was also written with Mitchell Parish and was the first theme song for the PBS production of This Old House. "For All We Know" was written with lyricist Sam M. Lewis.
In 1934 when Gillespie brought him the lyrics to "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town", Coots came up with the skeleton of the music in just ten minutes. Later when Coots brought the song to his publisher, Leo Feist Inc., they liked it but thought it was a kids' song and did not expect too much from it.
Coots offered the song to Eddie Cantor who used it on his radio show that November and it became an instant hit. The morning after the radio show there were orders for 100,000 copies of sheet music, and, by Christmas, sales had passed 400,000.
Timeline - J. Fred Coots 
- 1897 May 2 - Born in Brooklyn, New York
- 1914 (17) While working in a bank decided to change careers
- 1917 (20) Had his first song published
- 1922 (25) Wrote the music for a Broadway show called "Sally, Irene, and Mary"
- 1928 (31) Wrote "Doin' the Raccoon"
- 1929 (32) Moved to Hollywood, California
- 1931 (34) Wrote "Love Letters in the Sand"
- 1934 (37) Wrote the songs "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" (over 4 million copies of sheet music sold) and "For All We Know"
- 1940 (43) Wrote the New York Rangers victory song
- 1985 (89) April 8 - Died in New York City
- The Story of the song "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town"
- December 1956 issue of "The Kiwanis Magazine"
- Claus alert!
- J. Fred Coots at the Internet Broadway Database
- Entry at Songwriters Hall of Fame (includes a complete list of compositions)
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