Tom Adair

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Tom Adair
Birth name Thomas Montgomery Adair
Born (1913-06-15)June 15, 1913
Newton, Kansas, United States
Died May 24, 1988(1988-05-24) (aged 74)
Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
Occupations Songwriter, composer, and screenwriter

Thomas Montgomery "Tom" Adair (June 15, 1913 – May 24, 1988) was an American songwriter, composer, and screenwriter.

Biography[edit]

Tom Adair (Thomas Montgomery Adair) was born on 15 June 1913, in Newton, Kansas, the only child of William Adair and Madge Cochran.

His father owned a clothing store in Newton; around 1923 he sold up and moved the family to Los Angeles. Tom Adair attended Los Angeles Junior College (now Los Angeles City College), and then joined the local power company, working as a clerk on the complaints desk, while writing poems and song lyrics in his spare time.[1]

In 1941, Adair met Matt Dennis in a club and the duo began writing songs together. Adair's song-writing career took him to New York during the 1940s where he penned several Broadway hits, and worked with Tommy Dorsey and Frank Sinatra. He later returned to Los Angeles and worked with writer James B. Allardice on songs for sit-coms.

In 1949 Adair married Frances Jeffords; in later life, they worked together on songs and teleplays for Disney.[2] They had four children, Micheal Adair, Richard Adair, Ann Trousdale (Adair), and Robin Brown (Adair); and four grandchildren Tom Adair, Kristi Adair, Jennifer Adair, and Julie Adair.

The Adairs retired to Hawaii in 1984. Tom died on 24 May 1988, in Honolulu.

Career[edit]

After meeting Matt Dennis in 1940, Adair started working with him, moving to New York when the duo were hired by Tommy Dorsey. Adair and Dennis wrote numerous songs for Dorsey, Bing Crosby, and Dinah Shore and penned Frank Sinatra's hit "Let's Get Away from It All." In 1942, Matt Dennis joined the Army Air Corps. Adair moved on to work with Dick Uhl and hit song "In the Blue of the Evening" with Alfonso d'Artega. About the collaboration among Adair, Dennis, and Sinatra, Vanity Fair magazine said "Sinatra's first recording away from Dorsey took place at RCA’s Los Angeles studios on the afternoon of Monday, January 19, 1942. He had chosen the song for his attempt as a soloist, a ballad, naturally, all dripping with romance: it was 'The Night We Called It a Day,' by these new kids Matt Dennis and Tom Adair, who’d written 'Let’s Get Away from It All' and 'Violets for Your Furs.' "[3]

From June 1944, Adair worked with composer Gordon Jenkins in writing a complete score every week for the Auto-Lite radio show, which featured singer Dick Haymes.

He wrote many hit songs, including "Let's Get Away From It All", "Everything Happens To Me", "In The Blue of Evening", "Will You Still Be Mine?", "Violets for Your Furs", "The Night We Called It A Day", "The Skyscraper Blues", "A Home-Sweet-Home In The Army", "How Will I Know My Love?", "Sing A Smiling Song", "Paul Bunyan", "There's No You", and "Weep No More".

In 1949, Adair wrote the lyrics for the Broadway production of Along Fifth Avenue.[4] It ran for 180 performances at the Broadhurst Theatre, with the original cast including Carol Bruce, Jackie Gleason, George S. Irving, Hank Ladd, Donald Richards and Nancy Walker.[5]

After the show closed, Adair returned to Los Angeles, working for Disney in the 1950s. In 1958, Adair first met James B. Allardice while working on "The Ann Sothern Show" (1958); he wrote the music while Allardice was a writer on the show. Adair went on to have a successful partnership working on the sit-com, "Hazel" (1961); however, they also collaborated in the writing on two episodes of "Hazel": "A Replacement For Phoebe" (which aired on 10/2/61) and "Harold's Good Fortune" (which aired on 11/30/61). Later the two collaborated on many other shows, including "My Three Sons", "F Troop,", "Hogan's Heroes", "I Dream of Jeannie" and "Gomer Pyle". The partnership lasted until Allardice's death in 1966.

A late triumph was the lyrics for an NBC cartoon special, "Babar Comes to America" (1971) with John Scott Trotter.

Music in Films[edit]

  • (2011) The Ides of March. George Clooney, Ryan Gosling.
  • (2004) Melinda and Melinda. Johnny Lee Miller
  • (2000) Keeping the Faith. Eli Wallach
  • (1999) The End of the Affair. Ralph Fiennes
  • (1998) Playing By Heart. Sean Connery

Music in Television[edit]

  • (2002) We Were the Mulvaneys

Award nominations[edit]

Year Award Result Category Film
1957 Academy Award Nominated Outstanding Individual Achievement in Music Julie (Shared with Leith Stevens)
1969 Emmy Award Outstanding Individual Achievement in Music The Story of Babar, the Little Elephant (Shared with John Scott Trotter )
2010 41st Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Awarded & Inducted Songwriting Team of Tom Adair & Matt Dennis, contributions to the worldwide landscape of music through an extraordinary expression of lyrics and composition

External links[edit]