Mack Gordon (born Morris Gittler, June 21, 1904 – February 28, 1959) was a Jewish-American composer and lyricist of songs for the stage and film. He was nominated for the best original song Oscar nine times in eleven years, including five consecutive years between 1940 and 1944, and won the award once, for "You'll Never Know". That song has proved among his most enduring, and remains popular in films and television commercials to this day. "At Last" is another of his best-known songs.
Gordon was born in Warsaw, then part of the Russian Empire and moved to New York City as a child. He appeared as a vaudeville actor and singer in the late 1920s and early 1930s but his songwriting talents were always paramount. He formed a partnership with English pianist Harry Revel that lasted throughout the 1930s. In the 1940s he worked with a string of other composers including Harry Warren.
The Internet Movie Database states that Gordon's songs have been used in the soundtrack of over 100 films, Gordon writing specifically for at least 50 of them. His catalogue includes more than 120 songs sung by some of the world's most famous and talented performers such as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Etta James, Glenn Miller, Barbra Streisand, Christina Aguilera, Mel Tormé, Nat King Cole, and many more. His close friendship with many of his artists (such as Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack) and his ability to write lyrics that were timeless allowed him to become one of the most famous members of the world of music and a legendary lyricist. Thus there is perhaps no surprise that his exhibit in the Songwriters Hall of Fame says he is "arguably one of the most successful lyricists to write for the screen". He was entombed in Corridor of Immortality at Home of Peace Cemetery.
1942 sheet music cover,"At Last", as recorded by Glenn Miller and His Orchestra from the movie Orchestra Wives
, Leo Feist, New York.
- "A Lady Loves"
- "A Star Fell Out of Heaven"
- "A Tree Was a Tree"
- "All About Love"
- "An Old Straw Hat"
- "An Orchid to You"
- "At Last"
- "Baby, Won’t You Say You Love Me"
- "Chattanooga Choo-Choo" - nominee for 1941 Academy Award for Best Original Song
- "Cigarettes, Cigars"
- "Danger, Love at Work"
- "Did You Ever See a Dream Walking?"
- "Doin' the Uptown Lowdown"
- "Down Argentine Way" - nominee for 1940 Academy Award for Best Original Song
- "From the Top of Your Head to the Tip of Your Toes"
- "Goodnight My Love"
- "Help Yourself to Happiness"
- "I Can't Begin to Tell You" - nominee for 1946 Academy Award for Best Original Song
- "I Feel Like a Feather in the Breeze"
- "I Had the Craziest Dream"
- "I Played Fiddle for the Czar"
- "I'm Making Believe" - nominee for 1944 Academy Award for Best Original Song
- "I've Got a Date With a Dream"
- "I've Got a Gal in Kalamazoo" - nominee for 1942 Academy Award for Best Original Song
- "If You Feel Like Singing, Sing"
- "In Old Chicago"
- "It Happened In Sun Valley"
- "It Happens Every Spring"
- "It Was a Night in June"
- "It's Swell of You"
- "Listen to the German Band"
- "Lookie, Lookie, Lookie, Here Comes Cookie"
- "Love Thy Neighbor"
- "May I?"
- "My Heart is an Open Book"
- "My Heart Tells Me"
- "Never in a Million Years"
- "On the Boardwalk at Atlantic City"
- "Once in a Blue Moon"
- "Once Too Often"
- "Paris in the Spring"
- "Serenade in Blue"
- "She Reminds Me of You"
- "Somebody Soon"
- "Somewhere in the Night"
- "Sunny Southern Smile"
- "Takes Two to Make a Bargain"
- "Thanks for Everything"
- "The More I See You"
- "There Will Never Be Another You"
- "There's a Lull in My Life"
- "Through a Long and Sleepless Night" - nominee for 1949 Academy Award for Best Original Song
- "Time on My Hands"
- "Underneath the Harlem Moon"
- "What Did I Do"
- "When I'm With You"
- "Wilhelmina" - nominee for 1950 Academy Award for Best Original Song
- "Without a Word of Warning"
- "With My Eyes Wide Open, I'm Dreaming"
- "You Do" - nominee for 1947 Academy Award for Best Original Song
- "You Make Me Feel So Young"
- "You Say the Sweetest Things Baby"
- "You'll Never Know" - winner for 1943 Academy Award for Best Original Song, from Hello, Frisco, Hello
Original Works for Broadway
- ^ "MACK GORDON, 54, LYRICIST, IS DEAD." New York Times (1923-Current file): 86. Mar 01 1959. ProQuest. Web. 13 May 2015.
- ^ a b "Mack Gordon". Academy Awards Database. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on July 17, 2013. Retrieved July 16, 2013.