Roy Turk

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Roy Turk
Roy Kenneth Turk

(1892-09-20)September 20, 1892
New York City, New York, United States
DiedNovember 30, 1934(1934-11-30) (aged 42)
Hollywood, California, United States
Occupation(s)Songwriter and lyricist
Years active1920s–1930s
StyleTraditional pop, cast recordings, show tunes, vaudeville, vocal music

Roy Kenneth Turk (September 20, 1892 – November 30, 1934) was an American songwriter and lyricist, he frequently collaborated with composer Fred E. Ahlert – their popular 1929 song "Mean to Me" has become a jazz standard. In 1926 collaborated with Lou Handman on his best known song the 1927 hit song Are You Lonesome Tonight? made famous by acts like Elvis Presley. He worked with many other composers, including for film lyrics. Turk was elected to the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970.


Among his compositions (with music by Fred Ahlert unless otherwise noted):

He also worked with composers such as Harry Akst, George W. Meyer, Charles Tobias, Arthur Johnston, Maceo Pinkard, and J. Russell Robinson.


  • The ASCAP Biographical Dictionary, Third edition, American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, New York (1966)
  • ASCAP Biographical Dictionary, Fourth edition, compiled for the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, by Jaques Cattell Press, R.R. Bowker, New York (1980)
  • The Complete Encyclopedia of Popular Music and Jazz, 1900–1950, Three volumes, by Roger D. Kinkle, Arlington House Publishers, New Rochelle, New York (1974)
  • Songwriters. A biographical dictionary with discographies, by Nigel Harrison, McFarland & Co., Jefferson, North Carolina (1998)
  • Sweet and Lowdown. America's popular songwriters, by Warren Craig, Scarecrow Press, Metuchen, New Jersey (1978), Biographies appear in the 'After Tin Pan Alley' section, beginning on page 91
  • American Popular Songs. From the Revolutionary War to the present, edited by David Ewen, Random House, New York (1966)

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