Talk:George M. Cohan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search


According to the Cobh Heritage Centre, the name is a variant of "Keohane." Kostaki mou (talk) 01:16, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

James M. Cohan[edit]

I am not sure why there was a James M. Cohan Wikipage, nor why there was a "suggestion" that that page be merged with this. (1) Clearly the information there was a badly written version of the information here. (2) The Internet Movie Database is the best and most authoritative source on the web for show business names and has *no* James Cohan. They do have George. (3) Google finds 206,000 hits for "George M Cohan" and 21 for "James M Cohan". That is a 10,000 to 1 hit ratio in favor of George.

Obviously some very few people are misinformed of this person's first name.

I converted the James M. Cohan Wikipage to a "redirect" to this page.

Nwbeeson 19:53, 26 March 2007 (UTC)


I stumbled on this page by accident, but this a true example of "serendipity". I was looking for the lyrics of "Yankee Doodle Dandy" to be sung at a Veteran's gathering on December 7, 2003. To my delight, there was a whole world of material on George M Cohan, followed by material on show business, sample lyrics, biographies and histories of Musicals, Composers, Artists... everything a lover of Broadway musicals, European operettas, etc, etc, could ever want. I don't know who you are, but Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!!!! Shall obviously be back again! Frank H

Josephine Cohan Niblo[edit]

The article said she was born in "1874". I am looking at a photo I took of their mausoleum's insides at Woodlawn Cemetery - and she was born in "1876". I see it clearly. Zouave44 (talk) 02:50, 1 December 2008 (UTC)


This article would benefit from a photo of Cohan's statue on Broadway. —Theo (Talk) 21:24, 24 December 2005 (UTC)

yes, that's the baby's name[edit]

I have reverted to remove the phrase "yes, that's the baby's name" (see diff). I don't understand why it is here, can anyone explain it? Thanks, --Hansnesse 01:34, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

  • Cohan wrote the songs "Yankee Doodle Boy" and "Mary"; Allan Sherman did a parody of the latter called "Barry"; and Barry Bostwick sings "Yankee Doodle Boy" annually. So it's kind of a minor Kevin Bacon moment. Wahkeenah 05:02, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
  • "Minor Kevin Bacon moments" don't belong on Wikipedia. I've reverted the latest edit. Let's keep the style and content here encyclopedic. | Klaw ¡digame! 19:17, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
You need to find something better to do with your time... like figuring out a way to keep a-nones from messing things up. Wahkeenah 19:30, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
Indeed; I appreciate that the material has meaning, although I don't think the five words does a good job of explaining the connection or meaning intended. Lets post suggested revisions here and try to work out something that is clearer --Hansnesse 19:32, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
There is no controversy except in the mind of that one user. Wahkeenah 19:37, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
There's absolutely no connection between Barry Bostwick and Allan Sherman, and Wahkeenah's attempts at humor don't belong in the Wikipedia mainspace. No user is going to assume that Barry Bostwick is the "Barry" of Allan Sherman's parody. Send it to BJAODN if you like, but let's not clutter a strong article with irrelevancies and jokes. | Klaw ¡digame! 19:41, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
It is not clear to me the reference is intended as a joke. If there is no controversy, then finding consensus here should be no trouble; Let's start fresh, see below. --Hansnesse 19:48, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

Allan Sherman's "Barry"[edit]

Wahkeenah suggested the wording (not necessarily Allan Sherman's "Barry") be inserted into the article. To my mind, this does not explain the reference particularly well. (a) Should the fact that Allan Sherman sang a parody titled "Barry" be included and (b) if so, how should it be worded so that the meaning is clear? I suggest not inserting the material until we can come to some sort of agreement here. Thoughts? --Hansnesse 19:48, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

  • I'd like to know if anyone on God's green earth other than this Law character actually cares about this. Wahkeenah 19:52, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
I do as well. Is there a clearer way of explaining it. What would you think of a footnote or something akin to it? --Hansnesse 19:56, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Should the fact that Allan Sherman sang a parody titled "Barry" be included Absolutely, but it's already mentioned in the Sherman bullet point. Wahkeenah's edits keep trying to create a connection between that song and the fact that the next bullet is about Barry Bostwick, but in fact, there is no connection at all. The existence of the song is adequately covered. | Klaw ¡digame! 19:59, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
  • Thanks for the clarification. Perhaps then we could make the meaning clearer in the Sherman bullet point; Do you know if "Barry" from the song title refers to someone/something specifically? Perhaps by clarifying the meaning there, we can avoid the reference in the Bostwick point. Otherwise does the "coincidentally" bit seem ok by all? --Hansnesse 20:12, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
  • A clarification of "Barry" in the Sherman bullet would be great - more info is always a good thing. Wahkeenah posted an explanation of "Barry" (and "Horowitz," come to think of it) on my talk page; maybe something like, "Sherman parodied several Cohan songs by adding a Jewish twist" or "by changing their ethnic focus from Irish to Jewish?" | Klaw ¡digame! 20:34, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

How does this wording sound, adding to the Sherman bullet point:

Sherman's parody songs often referenced names, although it is not generally thought to refer to any one person specifically.

Thoughts? --Hansnesse 20:30, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

I'd like it better if we incorporated Wahkeenah's info more specifically. But yes, that would be fine too. | Klaw ¡digame! 20:34, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

Debate comment[edit]

I don't know if this helps on this debate or not - just as a reader who knows nothing of the subject or wanting really to get envolved. :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page) 15:07, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

I do NOT understand any version of what was trying to be said by this editor Wahkeenah. (And no I'm not dense). I thinks if the user has a cogent comment it should be made as a footnote (referenced to the location of the original insert). Then he needs to make very clear what he is trying to convey, because so far it isn't. I thought I followed it to start with but then it got away from me. Sorry! :: Kevinalewis : (Talk Page) 15:07, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

  • It was a big tempest in a very small teapot, and the others won the war, and dat's dat. Wahkeenah 18:17, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

Birth date[edit]

According to piano instruction book author John Thompson, Cohan was born on July 3rd, but his birthday was changed to July 4th. Remind me to dig up the reference. --Uncle Ed 18:03, 11 January 2007 (UTC)


That's got to be a joke, or at least it's funny. I wonder how many Jews get large funerals at St. Patrick's Cathedral? I'm guessing... maybe not all that many. Wahkeenah 03:42, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

It does raise an interesting point: Cohan/Cohen is usually a Jewish name. The article should address how an Irish Catholic family came to have this surname? -- (talk) 05:52, 8 July 2012 (UTC)
William H. Rehnquist, a Lutheran, got a funeral at St. Matthew's Cathedral in Washington, D.C. Rent-a-church? John Paul Parks (talk) 02:52, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

The name Cohan/Keohane is an anglicisation of the surname Ó Ceocháin, commmon in parts of West Cork. It's pure coincidence that the anglicised form happens to look like the common Jewish surname Cohen but the two names are not related. An Muimhneach Machnamhach (talk) 20:00, 22 October 2012 (UTC)

Thanks! -- Ssilvers (talk) 20:48, 22 October 2012 (UTC)

Conceding that he was Catholic, a better question is how a divorced-and-remarried-Catholic, whose first wife was still living, got a large Catholic funeral at St. Patrick's Cathedral in 1942. Money? John Paul Parks (talk) 02:52, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

Medal of Honor[edit]

If this is given only to "combat veterans," then how did Lindberg get one? BulldogPete 22:40, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

In the Civil War many non-combat veterans were awarded the medal. These were rescinded. The status of non-combat veterans can be found on the MoH page. Zouave44 (talk) 02:47, 1 December 2008 (UTC)


I'm not aware of any Cohan songs being interpolated into Guys & Dolls, the score for which is usually considered to be solely by Frank Loesser based on Runyon. Can anyone confirm this? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:30, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

I thought that was suspicious myself. I don't believe any of his songs were interpolated into Anything Goes or Hello, Dolly either! Kostaki mou (talk) 03:20, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

Sammy Davis, Jr.[edit]

What is the point of the reference to Sammy Davis Jr. in the item about George Jr.? If they were colleagues who performed together this should be spelled out. If it's just that both were among the many thousands who served in Special Services during WWII the reference is meaningless and should be deleted.

It was slipped in by an IP address, some 2 years ago, as one of a flurry of edits. [1] There is no obvious point, other than the two names being a "Junior". It be gone. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 02:37, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

References and ref tags...[edit]

There is no references or ref tags. Even though most of this accurate and there is External Links, their has to be references and ref tags. Because, 1) People need to know where we got the information from. 2) People need to know if this information is accurate. AnnieTigerChucky (talk) 04:23, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

New Reference[edit]

Added external link to liner notes and corrected number of songs Cohan wrote and published, and for full disclosure I work for the non-profit educational resource linked to.Ribbonabaca (talk) 16:19, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

Phantom President[edit]

Removed reference to Dave (1993) as remake of Phantom President. Dave is NOT a remake of this film. There is a similar premise (The Prisoner of Zenda uses the same premise) but otherwise no plot similarities. Further, Writers' Guild credits for Dave treat the screenplay as original and not an adaptation (for which the original writers would be credited). Michaelcarraher (talk) 16:26, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

OK, thanks. -- Ssilvers (talk) 22:15, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

North Brookfield[edit]

I removed the excessive detail about North Brookfield, leaving a paragraph, together with the single ref. that was given. Do people think it's still too much? Does anyone know what page of the Telegram & Gazette this news article appeared on, and who the author was? -- Ssilvers (talk) 03:02, 24 July 2014 (UTC)

Ethel Levey[edit]

From "musicals 101", by John Kendrick (under "George M. Cohan Bio-Part II" = "When George's occasional overnight "writing" sessions at various hotels became more frequent and prolonged, Ethel suspected the worst -- as it turns out, with good reason. In 1907, she obtained a divorce on grounds of adultery. Ethel remained one of vaudeville's most popular headliners and raised daughter Georgette on her own."

I don't know if this matters at this stage, the article is nicely done as is. (I am unable to provide a link at this time, still trying out my new laptop.) Flami72 (talk) 14:07, 6 July 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. I found the ref and added it with a footnote. -- Ssilvers (talk) 14:42, 6 July 2015 (UTC)
And thanks to you; I may never be able to get some of the links that I used to get with my old desk top, but I'm practicing! Flami72 (talk) 15:21, 6 July 2015 (UTC)

Cohan and "Podunk"[edit]

I've just deleted a claim that Cohan was instrumental in popularizing "Podunk" to mean a place of little significance. The Oxford English Dictionary cites sources as far back as 1846 for that meaning, and a Google Books search turns up other uses from the 1870s and 1880s. A Google NGRAM search shows no notable increase in the use of the word in books, starting around the time of Cohan's vaudeville career or shortly after. All we have is one article from the 1970s, noting Cohan's time in Podunk, Massachusetts (one of several US towns named Podunk) and drawing the apparently unsubstantiated conclusion that Cohan's stories about the place popularized the use of the term. No other independent sources for that claim turned up in a Google search. Jbening (talk) 12:57, 8 May 2016 (UTC)

Thank you for this clear, concise explanation of your edit. I very much appreciate it. Happy editing! -- Ssilvers (talk) 19:37, 8 May 2016 (UTC)
Yes, an excellent edit Jbening, made all the more better by your helpful and courteous explanation here. Not a lot of people would have operated this way and it's really refreshing to see. Thank you. CassiantoTalk 19:47, 8 May 2016 (UTC)