Lew Brown

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other people with the same name, see Lewis Brown.
For the American Major League Baseball catcher and first baseman, see Lew Brown (baseball).
Lew Brown
Louis Brownstein - photo.jpg
Background information
Birth name Louis Brownstein
Born (1893-12-10)December 10, 1893
Origin Odessa, Russian Empire
Died February 5, 1958(1958-02-05) (aged 64)
New York City, United States
Occupation(s) Lyricist
Years active 1920's–1950's
Associated acts Albert Von Tilzer, Con Conrad, Harold Arlen, Ray Henderson, Buddy De Sylva

Lew Brown (December 10, 1893 – February 5, 1958), born Louis Brownstein, was a lyricist for popular songs in the United States. He wrote lyrics for many of the top Tin Pan Alley songwriters of the day, including Albert Von Tilzer, Con Conrad, and Harold Arlen. He was one third of a successful songwriting and music publishing team with Ray Henderson and Buddy De Sylva from 1925 until 1929. Brown also wrote or co-wrote several Broadway shows.

Early life[edit]

Brown was born 19 December 1893 in Odessa, Russian Empire. His family immigrated to the United States in 1898 and settled in The Bronx of New York City.[1]


Brown started writing for Tin Pan Alley in 1912 and collaborated with established composers, like Albert Von Tilzer. One of their well-known works is I'm Going Back to Kentucky Sue (1912).[2]

Later, Brown was part of a song writing team with Buddy DeSylva and Ray Henderson.[2]

Brown wrote the lyrics to Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree (1942) which appeared in the film Private Buckaroo. Glenn Miller's version popularized it with World War II soldiers. Not long after this hit, Brown retired from songwriting.[3]


Brown died in New York City on 5 February 1958.[3]

In popular culture[edit]

He was portrayed by Ernest Borgnine in the 1956 film The Best Things in Life Are Free, about the songwriting team of Brown, De Sylva and Henderson.[4]

Individual songs[edit]


Source: PlaybillVault[5]

Posthumous Credits


  1. ^ Jasen, David A. (2003). Tin Pan Alley: An Encyclopedia of the Golden Age of American Song. New York: Routledge. p. 54. ISBN 0415938775. 
  2. ^ a b Furia, Philip (1990). The Poets of Tin Pan Alley: a History of America's Great Lyricists. Oxford University Press. p. 87. ISBN 0195064089. 
  3. ^ a b Jasen, David A. (2003). Tin Pan Alley: An Encyclopedia of the Golden Age of American Song. New York and London: Routledge. p. 55. ISBN 0415938775. 
  4. ^ "'The Best Things in Life Are Free' Overview" tcm.com, accessed January 19, 2016
  5. ^ "Lew Brown Broadway" playbillvault.com, accessed January 19, 2016

External links[edit]