Henry Katzman

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Henry Manners Katzman
Henry Manners Katzman.jpg
Henry Katzman in his 20s
Background information
Birth name Henry Katzman
Born (1912-03-02)March 2, 1912
Died May 11, 2001(2001-05-11) (aged 89)
Occupation(s) Composer, painter, musician

Henry Manners Katzman (March 2, 1912 – May 11, 2001) was a musician, composer, painter, and one of the founders of Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI).

The son of bandleader Louis Katzman, he grew up in New York City in a musical household and quickly took to the piano as his instrument of choice. He was one of the founders of BMI, which was established as an alternative to ASCAP, the leading music publisher of the day. ASCAP had focused solely on big band music and refused to publish works in such categories as blues, country, jazz, and folk. BMI's creation allowed for the expansion of American music, and helped pave the way for the eventual rise of rock, soul, and country music.

Henry Katzman and Carl Sandberg, September 1953.
Henry Katzman and Carl Sandberg, September 1953.

In March 1940, BMI issued their very first contract for "We Could Make Such Beautiful Music Together", with music composed by Katzman and lyrics by Robert Sour. Although this was the first song published by BMI, it has been frequently covered by a wide variety of artists, including older recordings by Barbara Lee, Judy Garland, and Liza Minnelli, and more recent recordings by Phil Woods and Bebo Valdés. Katzman composed over 65 other popular works, including "Delilah", "Starlight Sonata" (famously covered by a young Frank Sinatra), "Keep An Eye On Your Heart", and "Mabel Mabel" (covered by Nat King Cole). He also composed soundtrack music, including "Thumper Song" and "Twitterpated" for the original Bambi animated film.

As a pianist, he played with George Gershwin and accompanied Irène Bordoni, Fred Allen, and Jan Peerce. He also volunteered with the Veterans Bedside Network, and was a long-time member of the Radio Pioneers.

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