James V. Monaco
Monaco was born in Formia, Italy; his family emigrated to Albany, New York when he was six. He worked as a ragtime player in Chicago before moving to New York. Monaco's first successful song "Oh, You Circus Day" was featured in the 1912 Broadway revue Hanky Panky. Further success came with "Row, Row, Row" (lyrics by William Jerome) in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1912. Perhaps his best remembered song is "You Made Me Love You (I Didn't Want to Do It)" (lyrics by Joseph McCarthy), introduced by Al Jolson in 1913 and performed by Judy Garland with revised lyrics as "Dear Mr Gable" in 1937.
Monaco worked with a number of lyricists before moving to Hollywood where he teamed with lyricist Johnny Burke to produce songs for several Bing Crosby films. He died in 1945 in Beverly Hills, California.
Awards and recognition
Four of Monaco's songs received Academy Award nominations for Best Song:
- "Only Forever" (lyrics by Johnny Burke) from the 1940 film Rhythm on the River
- "We Mustn't Say Goodbye" (lyrics by Al Dubin) from the 1943 film Stage Door Canteen
- "I'm Making Believe" (lyrics by Mack Gordon) from the 1944 film Sweet and Lowdown
- "I Can't Begin to Tell You" (lyrics by Mack Gordon) from the 1945 film The Dolly Sisters. This was a posthumous nomination.
Monaco was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970.
In 2005, a revue of Monaco's music called Ragtime Jimmie opened in New York City as part of the American Composer Series.
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James V. Monaco