John Francis Burke (October 3, 1908 – February 25, 1964) was a lyricist, successful and prolific between the 1920s and 1950s. His work is considered part of the Great American Songbook.

Fecha de nacimiento:
03 de octubre de 1908
Fecha de fallecimiento:
25 de febrero de 1964

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Johnny Burke
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His song "Swinging on a Star", from the Bing Crosby film Going My Way, won an Academy Award for Best Song in 1944.

Early life

Burke was born in Antioch, California. When he was still young, his family moved to Chicago, Illinois, where Burke's father founded a construction business. As a youth, Burke studied piano and drama. He attended Crane College and then the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he played piano in the orchestra.

After graduating from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1927, Burke joined the Chicago office of the Irving Berlin Publishing Company in 1926 as a pianist and song salesman. He also played piano in dance bands and vaudeville.


Burke and Spina

Irving Berlin Publishing transferred Burke to its New York City office, where he began to write lyrics in collaboration with composer Harold Spina. In 1932, they wrote "Shadows on the Swanee", followed in 1933 by "Annie Doesn't Live Here Anymore", their first big hit for the Guy Lombardo Orchestra. In 1934, Burke and Spina wrote "You're Not the Only Oyster in the Stew", which was a novelty hit for Fats Waller, as was "My Very Good Friend, the Milkman". Burke and Spina wrote many songs that were played by leading bands of the day, including those led by Ben Pollack, Paul Whiteman and Ozzie Nelson. The Burke - Spina partnership ended in 1936 when Burke left for Hollywood.

Burke in Hollywood

Burke's first partner in Hollywood was Arthur Johnston. He then worked with Jimmy Monaco, but he was to make his mark in collaboration with Jimmy Van Heusen.

The team of Burke and Van Heusen turned out some of the great hit tunes of the 1940s. Burke signed a contract with Paramount in 1939, and spent his entire career with the same studio. Burke's primary function as a lyricist was working on the films of Bing Crosby. Of the 41 films on which he worked, 25 starred Bing Crosby. Seventeen songs were substantial hits, including "Pennies from Heaven", "I've Got a Pocketful of Dreams", "Only Forever", "Moonlight Becomes You" and "Sunday, Monday, or Always".

Other works

In 1939, Burke wrote the lyrics for "Scatterbrain", with music by Frankie Masters and "What's New?" with Bob Haggart. In 1955, Burke added lyrics to a standard by jazz pianist Erroll Garner entitled "Misty". Burke also wrote the words and music to the Nat King Cole song "If Love Ain't There".

The film The Vagabond King (1956) was Burke's last Hollywood work. Eight years later, he died in New York City from a heart attack at the age of 55.

Awards and honors

Burke and Van Heusen's song "Swinging on a Star", from the Bing Crosby film Going My Way, won an Academy Award for Best Song in 1944, one of seven Academy Awards won by the film. Burke was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970.

In 1995, Burke's life was depicted in the Broadway musical revue, "Swinging on a Star".

Personal life

Burke was married four times. He was married to Mary Mason in the 1960s, who played Liesl in The Sound of Music on Broadway; the couple had a daughter. He was married to Bess Patterson from 1939–1955; the marriage produced three children.


Among the landmarks of Burke's songwriting career were:

  • with Harold Spina:
  • "Annie Doesn't Live Here Anymore"
  • "You're Not the Only Oyster in the Stew"
  • "My Very Good Friend, the Milkman"
  • "Shadows on the Swanee"
  • "The Beat of My Heart"
  • "Now You've Got Me Doing It"
  • "I've Got a Warm Spot in My Heart for You"
  • with Arthur Johnston:
  • "Pennies from Heaven"
  • "One Two, Button Your Shoe"
  • "Double or Nothing"
  • "The Moon Got in My Eyes"
  • "All You Want to Do Is Dance"
  • with Jimmy Monaco:
  • "Only Forever"
  • "I've Got a Pocketful of Dreams"
  • "Don't Let That Moon Get Away"
  • "An Apple for the Teacher"
  • "On the Sentimental Side"
  • "My Heart Is Taking Lessons"
  • "Scatterbrain"
  • "That Sly Old Gentleman from Featherbed Lane"
  • "Sing a Song of Sunbeams"
  • "East Side of Heaven"
  • "Where the Turf Meets the Surf" (with Bing Crosby)
  • with Jimmy Van Heusen:
  • "Too Romantic"
  • "Sweet Potato Piper"
  • "Polka Dots and Moonbeams"
  • "Imagination"
  • "Moonlight Becomes You"
  • "Sunday, Monday, or Always"
  • "Going My Way"
  • "Swinging on a Star"
  • "It Could Happen to You"
  • "And His Rockin' Horse Ran Away"
  • "The First One Hundred Years"
  • "But Beautiful"
  • "Apalachicola, Fla"
  • "Here's That Rainy Day" (from the Broadway musical Carnival in Flanders)
  • "It's an Old Spanish Custom" (from Carnival In Flanders)
  • "Oh, You Crazy Moon"
  • "To See You Is to Love You"
  • "Suddenly It's Spring"
  • "Like Someone in Love"
  • "(We're Off on the) Road to Morocco"
  • "You May Not Love Me"
  • "It's Always You"
 El contenido de este artículo ha sido extraído de la Wikipedia en inglés bajo licencia Creative Commons.






Balance anual

el 31/12/2018

Por séptimo año consecutivo hemos elaborado una lista con los discos imprescindibles del año que se termina. Como cada año no pretendemos pontificar sobre cuáles han sido los mejores. Seguramente habrá tantas listas posibles como aficionados. Esta es sencillamente nuestra lista con la total seguridad que si bien no están todos los que son, sí son todos los que están.

Nuevo cancionero y discografía

el 21/01/2019

Podríamos decir que se cumplen 50 años de los míticos conciertos en el Olympia de París, pero no hacen falta demasiadas efemérides para homenajear a Paco Ibáñez. "No hay que pedir permiso al calendario", decía el Maestro Serrat. Hoy presentamos el cancionero y discografía de quien algunos consideran el "padre" de la canción de autor en España.



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