Bart Howard

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Bart Howard (born Howard Joseph Gustafson, June 1, 1915 – February 21, 2004) was an American composer and songwriter, most notably of the jazz standard "Fly Me to the Moon", which has been performed by Kaye Ballard, Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald, Nancy Wilson, Della Reese, Bobby Womack, Diana Krall, Paul Anka, June Christy, Brenda Lee, Astrud Gilberto, Nat King Cole, Peggy Lee, and Sia, among others. It is played frequently by jazz and popular musicians around the world. Howard wrote the song for his partner of 58 years, Thomas Fowler.[citation needed]


Howard was born in Burlington, Iowa. He began his career as an accompanist at the age of 16 and played for Mabel Mercer, Johnny Mathis and Eartha Kitt, among others.

"Fly Me to the Moon" was first sung in 1954 by Felicia Sanders at the Blue Angel nightclub in Manhattan, where the composer became M.C. and accompanist in 1951. The song received wide exposure when Peggy Lee sang it on The Ed Sullivan Show several years later. Bart Howard "lived off" this song for the rest of his life, although he had 49 other songs to his credit. These include "Let Me Love You", "On the First Warm Day", "One Love Affair", "Be My All", "The Man in the Looking Glass", "My Love Is a Wanderer", "Who Wants to Fall in Love" and "Don't Dream of Anybody But Me".

Howard died February 21, 2004, at age 88, in Carmel, New York. He was survived by his partner of 58 years, Thomas Fowler and a sister Dorothy Lind of Burlington, Iowa [1]


The original title was "In Other Words", but so many people referred to it by the first lyric line, ("fly me to the moon") the publisher changed the title to "Fly Me to the Moon".


  1. ^ Holden, Stephen (2004-02-23). "Bart Howard, 88, Songwriter Known for 'Fly Me to the Moon'". The New York Times. Retrieved 2022-11-05.
  • Todd S. Jenkins (2004), Free Jazz and Free Improvisation: An Encyclopedia, Greenwood Press

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