Remembering influential and famed composer Harry Warren

The composer of “I Only Have Eyes For You” “Jeepers Creepers” and “That’s Amore”

Remembering influential and famed composer Harry Warren

Harry Warren was born Salvatore Antonio Guaragna on December 24th, 1893 in Brooklyn, New York, he was one of eleven children of Italian immigrants. His father changed the family name to Warren when he was a child. Warren had an early interest in music and taught himself to play his father’s accordion. One of America’s most prolific film composers, Warren wrote over 800 songs between 1918 and 1981, publishing over 500 of them. They were written mainly for 56 feature films or were used in other films that used Warren’s newly written or existing songs. One of his most memorable song “I Only Have Eyes for You” is listed in the list of the 25 most-performed songs of the 20th Century, as compiled by the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP). The song was a big hit in 1959 for the band The Flamingos. Warren won the Academy Award for Best Song three times, collaborating with three different lyricists: “Lullaby of Broadway” with Al Dubin in 1935, “You’ll Never Know” with Mack Gordon in 1943, and “On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe” with Johnny Mercer in 1946. He was nominated for eleven Oscars. Among the well known Warren songs, are included “I Only Have Eyes for You”, “You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby”, “Jeepers Creepers”, “The Gold Diggers’ Song (We’re in the Money)”, “That’s Amore”, “The More I See You”, “At Last” and “Chattanooga Choo Choo” which was the first gold record in history.  Harry Warren died on September 22nd, 1981 in Los Angeles, California at age 87.  His songs, that have been featured in over 300 films, are a strong legacy of his work that will live on through movies, commercials and classics performed by artists of several musical genres as diverse as Jazz, Blues, Soul, Psychedelic Rock and Samba among many others.

Watch the iconic scene from the 1953 movie “The Caddy” where Dean Martin performs “That’s Amore” by Harry Warren

Listen to a selection of songs written by Harry Warren performed by artists from several music genres on Spotify

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