L. Wolfe Gilbert
Louis Wolfe Gilbert
August 31, 1886
Odessa, Russian Empire
|Died||July 12, 1970 (aged 83)|
|Other names||Wolfie Gilbert|
Louis Wolfe Gilbert (August 31, 1886 – July 12, 1970) was a Russian-born American songwriter of Tin Pan Alley. He is best remembered as the lyricist for "Ramona" (1928), the first movie theme song ever written.
Gilbert began his career touring with John L. Sullivan and singing in a quartet at small Coney Island café called College Inn, where he was discovered by English producer Albert Decourville. Decourville brought him to London as part of The Ragtime Octet.
Gilbert's first songwriting success came in 1912, when F. A. Mills Music Publishers published his song "Waiting For the Robert E. Lee" (melody by composer Lewis F. Muir). Gilbert later wrote both the words and music to "Down Yonder", a sequel to "Waiting for the Robert E. Lee". "Down Yonder" has become something of a standard as an instrumental, though the lyrics are rarely performed.
During the 1930s, Gilbert worked on Cuban songs that helped to popularize the rumba in America. Some of these hits for which he wrote English lyrics include "The Peanut Vendor", "Mama Inez", and "Maria My Own".
Gilbert wrote the theme lyrics for the popular children's Television Western Hopalong Cassidy, which first aired in 1949 on NBC. He was an innovator in his field, having been one of the first songwriters to begin publishing and promoting a catalog of his own works. He served as the director of ASCAP from 1941 to 1944, and again in 1953. He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970.
Known as "Wolfie", Gilbert and his wife Rose lived in Beverly Hills and he and his family were members of Temple Israel of Hollywood.
He died in Los Angeles, California on July 12, 1970. His original gravesite was at Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery in Culver City (Mausoleum, Court of Sages, Crypt 223) but he was later reinterred at Forest Lawn Cemetery (Cathedral City) near Palm Springs, California.
- 1912 "Waiting for the Robert E. Lee" (music by Lewis F. Muir)
- 1912 "Hitchy-Koo" (music by Lewis F. Muir and Maurice Abrahams, recorded by Collins & Harlan)
- 1912 "Ragging the Baby to Sleep" (music by Lewis F. Muir)
- 1912 "Take Me to that Swanee Shore" (music by Lewis F. Muir)
- 1913 "Mammy Jinny's Mubilee" (music by Lewis F. Muir)
- 1914 "By Heck" (music by S. R. Henry)
- 1914 "She's Dancing Her Heart Away" (music by Kerry Mills)
- 1915 "My Sweet Adair" (music by Anatole Friedland)
- 1916 "I Miss You Miss America" (music by Lee S. Roberts)
- 1916 "I've Got the Army Blues" (with Carey Morgan)
- 1916 "My Hawaiian Sunrise" (music by Carey Morgan, recorded by Henry Burr and Albert C. Campbell)
- 1917 "Are You From Heaven?" (music by Anatole Friedland)
- 1917 "Camouflage" (with Anatole Friedland)
- 1917 "Lily of the Valley" (music by Anatole Friedland)
- 1917 "Set Aside Your Tears (Till the Boys Come Marching Home)" (with Malvin Franklin and Anatole Friedland )
- 1921 "Down Yonder"
- 1924 "O, Katharina" (music by Richard Fall)
- 1925 "Don't Wake Me Up, Let Me Dream" (music by Mabel Wayne)
- 1925 "I Miss My Swiss" (music by Abel Baer)
- 1926 "Hello, Aloha, How Are You?" (music by Abel Baer)
- 1927 "Lucky Lindy!" (music by Abel Baer)
- 1928 "Are You Thinking of Me Tonight?" (music by Harry Akst and Benny Davis, recorded by Al Bowlly with John Abriani's Six)
- 1928 "Ramona" (music by Mabel Wayne, recorded by Whispering Jack Smith, Paul Whiteman Orchestra featuring Bix Beiderbecke, and Gene Austin)
- 1928 "Jeannine, I Dream of Lilac Time" (music by Nathaniel Shilkret, recorded by over a hundred artists)
- 1928 "Zindele Meins" ("Zindele mayns"), the Yiddish version of "Sonny Boy" sung by Pesach Burstein
- 1929 "My Mother's Eyes" (music by Abel Baer)
- 1931 "Marta" (music by Moises Simons, recorded by (Arthur Tracy, The Street Singer)
- 1931 "Mama Inez" (music Eliseo Grenet)
Lyrics for Broadway productions
- 1912 The Girl from Brighton
- 1912–1913 (From) Broadway to Paris
- 1916–1917 The Century Girl
- 1917 Doing Our Bit
- 1919 Oh, What A Girl!
- 1931 The Singing Rabbi
Gilbert & Friedland
Gilbert & Friedland was a music publishing partnership between composer, performer, and songwriter Anatole Friedland (also sometimes spelled Anatol Friedland and Anato Friedland) and lyricist L. Wolfe Gilbert.
- "Are You from Heaven?"
- "Then You Can Come Back to Me" (1918)
- "While You're Away" (1918)
- "That Beloved Cheater of Mine", from film The Beloved Cheater
- "Singapore (1918), Rector Novelty Orchestra, a ragtime song
- "Shades of Gray"
- "Love is a Wonderful Thing"
- "L. Wolfe Gilbert, Composer, Dead. Wrote 'Ramona' and Many Other Successful Songs". New York Times. July 13, 1970. Retrieved 2010-07-28.
L. Wolfe Gilbert, composer of more than 250 songs, including 'Ramona,' the first motion picture theme song, died today of a stroke. He was 83 years old.
- "Songwriters Hall of Fame - Member Update Exhibit Home". www.songwritershalloffame.org.
- "Wolfie Gilbert in Chicago". Billboard. Vol. 29. June 16, 1917. p. 14.
- "L. Wolfe Gilbert". Daily News. New York, NY. July 13, 1970. p. 91. Retrieved March 15, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
- Shaw, Arnold (1987). The Jazz Age: Popular Music in the 1920s. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 114. ISBN 0195038916.
- Firmat, Gustavo Pérez (2010). The Havana Habit. New Haven: Yale University Press. p. 81. ISBN 9780300168761.
- Parker, Bernard S. (2007). World War I Sheet Music - Volume 1. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc. pp. 70, 255, 321. ISBN 978-0-7864-2798-7.
- League, The Broadway. "L. Wolfe Gilbert – Broadway Cast & Staff - IBDB".
- "Music Trades". Music Trades Corporation. December 9, 1918 – via Google Books.
- "Billboard". Billboard Publications. December 9, 1917 – via Google Books.
- Firmat, Gustavo Pérez (2010). The Havana Habit. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 9780300168761.
- Shaw, Arnold (1987). The Jazz Age: Popular Music in the 1920s. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195038916.
- Bierley, Paul E.; Rehrig, William H. The heritage encyclopedia of band music. Composers and their music, Integrity Press 1991. ISBN 0918048087
- Bloom, Ken. American song. The complete musical theater companion: 1877-1995. Volume 2: T-Z. Second edition. Schirmer Books 1996.
- Gilbert, L. Wolfe. Without Rhyme or Reason, Vantage Press 1956. OCLC 1295930
- Larkin, Colin. The encyclopedia of popular music, third edition. Macmillan 1998. ISBN 1561592374