Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?

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In January 2005 the Grammys announced their annual Hall of Fame inductees. Included on the list was Bing Crosby's 1932 recording of "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?," the anthem of the Great Depression. Jay Gorney, who composed the music for this enduring classic, will also be remembered for such standards as "Baby Take a Bow" (from the film Stand Up and Cheer), "You're My Thrill," and "What Wouldn't I Do for That Man?" Throughout his lifetime, Gorney wrote hundreds of popular songs for theater, film, and television. In addition to composing, Gorney also produced films and was a distinguished writer and teacher. Unfortunately, his career was brought to a halt in 1953 with his appearance before the House Un-American Activities Committee, as he was blacklisted thereafter. This memoir by Jay's wife of more than 45 years chronicles the life of one of American music's most prolific and respected composers. From Gorney's childhood in Russia to his many stage and screen successes to his 1962 Tony Award, Brother Can You Spare a Dime? is a tribute to a man whose humanity, kindness, and courage triumphed over adversity. Contains more than 30 photos, including sheet music covers to some of Jay's greatest songs.

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Editorial Reviews

Reference and Research Book News
Gorney, wife of popular songwriter Jay Gorney (1896-1990), recounts the life and career of her husband, known for his song "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?" She describes his childhood in Russia, life in New York and Hollywood, career on Broadway, songs for films, and experience being blacklisted in the 1950s. Appendixes list his Broadway shows and songs, and film, radio, and television music.
Victor Navasky
Jay Gorney gave America 'Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?' and was blacklisted for his troubles. The depression, the blacklist, show business - it's all here in Sondra Gorney's loving Valentine to her late husband.
Michael Feinstein
Jay lived in a life centered around art and ideals and his story is one that needs to be told. This book is wonderful!
Ernie Harburg
Jay Gorney was an exceptionally talented theatre composer and a wonderful human being. Jay's quintessential music to "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?" (the anthem of the Great Depression) inspired my father, Yip, to write as great a lyric. This book illuminates Jay's life and work.
Patrick McGilligan
I was privileged to know Jay Gorney and admire him personally, long before I read this unusually thoughtful biography that reflects on his richly varied career on Broadway and in Hollywood - as an important composer and songwriter as well as film producer. The author brings all the intimacy of her close relationship with the subject into this faceted portrait of a man whose decency always illuminated his work and whose integrity helped him to triumph over the blacklist.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810856554
  • Publisher: The Scarecrow Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/28/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 5.88 (w) x 8.64 (h) x 0.46 (d)

Meet the Author

Sondra K. Gorney started her career as an actress in Chicago, performing in theater and radio. After moving to Los Angeles, she met and married Jay Gorney. Together they co-produced several editions of the musical revue Meet The People. When the Blacklist halted Jay's career, Sondra started a 30-year career as a public relations executive. She has appeared as a guest speaker on hundreds of radio and television programs throughout the country, and is the co-author of After Forty: How Women Can Achieve Fulfillment. After her retirement from public relations - and her husband's death - she returned to the theater as an actress and has appeared in numerous off-Broadway plays, as well as in television dramas.

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Table of Contents

Part 1 Acknowledgments Part 2 Prologue Part 3 Part 1: In the Beginning Chapter 4 1. Bialystok and the United States Chapter 5 2. Moving On Chapter 6 3. Hollywood, Here He Comes Chapter 7 4. Meet the People Part 8 Part 2: Hollywood and the Big City Chapter 9 5. The Romance Chapter 10 6. MEG Carries On Chapter 11 7. Moving to New York City Chapter 12 8. Branching Out Chapter 13 9. Reunion Part 14 Part 3: Surviving Chapter 15 10. Broadway and TV Activities Chapter 16 11. The Hearings Chapter 17 12. Blacklist Aftermath Chapter 18 13. Meet the People of 1955 Chapter 19 14. Survival Tactics Part 20 Part 4: Reviewing Our Lives Chapter 21 15. Shedding the Past Chapter 22 16. Camp Time Again Chapter 23 17. The Struggle Continues Chapter 24 18. Vacationing Chapter 25 19. The Children Grow Up Part 26 Part 5: The Beginning of the End Chapter 27 20. Fatal Bermuda Chapter 28 21. Reconciliation Chapter 29 22. Father, Grandfather, Teacher, Friend Chapter 30 23. The Accident Chapter 31 24. Greece Again and the Home Chapter 32 25. The Memorial Part 33 Epilogue Part 34 Appendix A: The Broadway Work of Jay Gorney Part 35 Appendix B: Jay Gorney in Hollywood Part 36 Appendix C: Radio and Television Shows and Songs Part 37 Selected Bibliography Part 38 Index Part 39 About the Author

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