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Songwriting

Carole King

Carole King not only wrote many of the best-loved songs of the 1960s and ‘70s, she was a performer in her own right, winning several Grammys for her music.

Dorothy Fields

Dorothy Fields wrote songs for a wide variety of musicals that became dearly loved classics of American culture, from “Hey Big Spender” to “A Fine Romance” and “The Way You Look Tonight,” which won an Academy Award in 1936.

Betty Comden

Betty Comden wrote lyrics and librettos for enduring and beloved musicals like Singin’ in the Rain and Peter Pan, winning some of the industry’s highest honors.

Lauren Interviews Lauren

Singer-songwriter-humorist Lauren Mayer reflects on Hanukkah, Christmas, family, growing up a Jew in Orange County and how all this informs her own, artistic process. May you enjoy this in depth interview conducted by… herself.

What inspired you to write “Latkes, Shmatkes”?

Two years ago NPR did a program on Christmas music, and their expert was talking about how secular songs, like “Frosty The Snowman,” became classics, and then he said, “Some songs should never become classics, like this one”— and used an old recording of mine as an example. It was a novelty song I’d written and recorded years ago, “The Fruitcake That Ate New Jersey,” and when I wrote in to ask how they found it, they ended up interviewing me. I joked that now I was part of the great tradition of Jewish songwriters who create Christmas music, and I really should do a Chanukah album. Once I said it, I realized it could be a fun idea.

Making Family Stories into Art

This weekend I was lucky enough to see two talented Jewish women make memorable art from their family stories. On Friday night, I went to Club Passim, the legendary folk venue in Harvard Square, to hear one of my favorite singer-songwriters, Lucy Kaplansky. Her set mixed old favorites with songs from her new CD, “Reunion.” The title track tells the story of two family reunions. The first in 1971, when she was 11, began at her grandmother’s bakery and continued at a fancy restaurant. The second “40 years on,” moved her to write “Here we are together/our fathers gone/ just daughters and sons.”

Helen Reddy’s "I Am Woman" tops the charts

December 9, 1972

“I Am Woman” was the only song Reddy would ever write, but it was enough for millions of listeners.

Dorothy Fields put the "broad" in Broadway

Last Friday marked the 106th anniversary of the birth of Dorothy Fields, the first woman to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the only woman who holds an uncontested spot in the boys' club that is credited with creating the Great American Songbook. Fields was a member of a prolific showbiz family, with a father and two brothers in the business.

Carolyn Leigh inducted into Songwriters Hall of Fame

January 1, 1985

Songwriter Carolyn Leigh, who wrote hundreds of tunes for Broadway, TV and film and was nominated for two Tony awards, was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Betty Comden, 1917 - 2006

"New York, New York,
a helluva town
The Bronx is up and the Battery's down
The people ride in a hole in the ground
New York, New York, it's a helluva town."

Lyricist Betty Comden's first hit, "On the Town," opens on Broadway

December 28, 1944

Opening of the Broadway musical "On the Town," featuring the writing of librettist and lyricist Betty Comden.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Songwriting." (Viewed on October 21, 2014) <http://jwa.org/tags/songwriting>.

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