Jack Little (songwriter)

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Little Jack Little c. 1943

Jack Little (born John Leonard; May 30, 1899 – April 9, 1956), (Another source gives his birth date as May 28, 1902.)[1] sometimes credited Little Jack Little, was a British-born American composer, singer, pianist, actor, and songwriter whose songs were featured in several movies. He is not to be confused with the burlesque comedian also known as "Little" Jack Little, who stood 4'5".

Early years[edit]

Little was born in the Silvertown section of London,[2] but moved to the United States when he was 9 years old, growing up in Waterloo, Iowa.[3] He was educated in pre-med classes at the University of Iowa,[4] where he played in and organized the university band.

Career[edit]

Early in his career, Little worked at radio stations, including WSAI[5] and WLW,[1] both in Cincinnati, Ohio. He had a 15-minute daily program (originating from WLW) on NBC radio in the early 1930s.[6]

Little toured the country with an orchestra, appearing in hotels, night clubs, and on radio. In one such touring appearance on radio, at WOC in Davenport, Iowa, Little "made a new endurance record for himself ... when he remained on the air three hours and sixteen minutes ... [and] sang fifty-one songs in answer to thousands of requests."[7] He collaborated musically with Tommie Malie, Dick Finch, John Siras, and Joe Young.

In 1928 he joined ASCAP. From 1933-'37, he recorded prolifically, starting on Bluebird, Columbia, and finally ARC, playing in a light society dance band style. He often worked with musical director Mitchell Ayres. His compositions include Jealous, I Promise You, A Shanty in Old Shanty Town and You're a Heavenly Thing. Details of his chart success per Joel Whitburn are given below.[8]

Chart successes[edit]

Year Song Peak
chart
position
1934 You Oughta Be in Pictures
2
Old Roses
12
Stay As Sweet As You Are
16
June in January
7
1935 Little Boy Blue
13
Lullaby of Broadway
5
I'm Goin' Shopping with You
16
I'm in the Mood for Love
1
I Wished on the Moon
13
On Treasure Island
4
No Other One
7
Where Am I? (Am I in Heaven?)
7
1936 I'm Shooting High
15
1937 It's Swell of You
17

Recognition[edit]

Little has a star at 6618 Hollywood Boulevard in the Radio section of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It was dedicated February 8, 1960.[9]

Personal life[edit]

He was married to Thea Hellman, who died in 1940; they had two children.

Death[edit]

Little died April 9, 1956, at his home in Hollywood, Florida.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b DeLong, Thomas A. (1996). Radio Stars: An Illustrated Biographical Dictionary of 953 Performers, 1920 through 1960. McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-2834-2. P. 167.
  2. ^ "Little Jack Little Finds Radio Listeners Love Him Still". Radio Digest: 9–10. July 1931. Retrieved 17 July 2016. 
  3. ^ Gurman, Joseph; Slager, Myron (1932). Radio Round-Ups (PDF). Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Co. p. 40. Retrieved 17 July 2016. 
  4. ^ "Little Jack Little, Here Today at Florida, Found His Fame in Musical World". St. Petersburg Times. February 24, 1941. p. 10. Retrieved 17 July 2016. 
  5. ^ "Jack Little Is Coming To Palace". Hamilton Evening Journal. Ohio, Hamilton. February 2, 1926. p. 4. Retrieved July 16, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  6. ^ a b "Voice of Little Jack Little, Nutmeg Favorite, Silenced". Sunday Herald. April 15, 1956. p. 60. 
  7. ^ "Wave Lengths". The Indianapolis News. Indiana, Indianapolis. April 14, 1926. p. 4. Retrieved July 16, 2016 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  8. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1986). Joel Whitburn's Pop Memories 1890-1954. Wisconsin, USA: Record Research Inc. p. 275. ISBN 0-89820-083-0. 
  9. ^ "Little Jack Little". Hollywood Walk of Fame. Retrieved 17 July 2016. 

External links[edit]