Drake in 2006
|Birth name||Ervin Maurice Druckman|
|Born||April 3, 1919|
Manhattan, New York, U.S.
|Died||January 15, 2015 95) (aged|
Great Neck, New York, U.S.
Ervin Drake (born Ervin Maurice Druckman; April 3, 1919 – January 15, 2015) was an American songwriter whose works include such American Songbook standards as "I Believe" and "It Was a Very Good Year". He wrote in a variety of styles and his work has been recorded by musicians around the world. In 1983, he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
A songwriter is a professional that writes lyrics or composes musical compositions for songs. A songwriter can also be called a composer, although the latter term tends to be used mainly for individuals from the classical music genre and film scoring, but is also associated with writing and composing the original musical composition or musical bed. A songwriter that writes the lyrics/words are referred to as lyricist. The pressure from the music industry to produce popular hits means that songwriting is often an activity for which the tasks are distributed between a number of people. For example, a songwriter who excels at writing lyrics might be paired with a songwriter with the task of creating original melodies. Pop songs may be written by group members from the band or by staff writers – songwriters directly employed by music publishers. Some songwriters serve as their own music publishers, while others have outside publishers.
"It Was a Very Good Year" is a song composed by Ervin Drake in 1961 and originally recorded by Bob Shane with the Kingston Trio. It was subsequently made famous by Frank Sinatra's version in D minor, which won the Grammy Award for Best Vocal Performance, Male in 1966. Gordon Jenkins was awarded Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s) for the Sinatra version. This single peaked at #28 on the U.S. pop chart and became Sinatra's first #1 single on the Easy Listening charts. That version can be found on Sinatra's 1965 album September of My Years, and was featured in The Sopranos season two opener, "Guy Walks into a Psychiatrist's Office...". A live, stripped-down performance is included on his Sinatra at the Sands album.
The Songwriters Hall of Fame (SHOF) was founded in 1969 by songwriter Johnny Mercer and music publisher/songwriter Abe Olman and publisher/executive Howie Richmond to honor those whose work represents and maintains the heritage and legacy of a spectrum of the most beloved songs from the world's popular music songbook. It not only celebrates these established songwriters, but is also involved on the development of new songwriting talent through workshops, showcases and scholarships. There are many programs designed to teach and discover new songwriters. Nile Rodgers serves as the organization's chairman.
Born in New York City, Drake had his first song published at age 12, in 1931. The son of Jewish immigrantsMax Druckman and Pearl Cohen, he attended Townsend Harris High School in the borough of Queens, New York, graduating in 1935, and went on to receive a Bachelor of Arts degree in social science from the City College of New York in 1940. His elder brother, Milton Drake, also became a songwriter, with work including "The Java Jive" and "Nina Never Knew"; and his younger brother Arnold Drake, became a writer for DC Comics, Marvel Comics, and others, as well as an author and playwright.
The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States and in the U.S. state of New York. With an estimated 2017 population of 8,622,698 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 20,320,876 people in its 2017 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 23,876,155 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.
Townsend Harris High School is a public magnet high school for the humanities in the borough of Queens in New York City. Students and alumni often refer to themselves as "Harrisites." Townsend Harris consistently ranks as among the top 100 High Schools in the United States. Its most recent U.S. News and World Report ranking is #40 in the nation, and it was named #1 high school in New York City by the New York Post in 2010.
A Bachelor of Arts is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, sciences, or both. Bachelor of Arts programs generally take three to four years depending on the country, institution, and specific specializations, majors, or minors. The word baccalaureus should not be confused with baccalaureatus, which refers to the one- to two-year postgraduate Bachelor of Arts with Honors degree in some countries.
Drake provided lyrics for "Perdido", composed by trombonist Juan Tizol, a member of Duke Ellington's orchestra, and first recorded (by Ellington) in 1944. Besides composing music and lyrics for dozens of pieces he was also a television producer and worked with performers including Jackie Gleason and Milton Berle. Among his best known songs is "I Believe", the first hit song ever introduced on television, which was commissioned and introduced by Jane Froman on her television show in 1953, and became a number-one hit for Frankie Laine, holding the record for number of non-consecutive weeks spent at number one. It has also been recorded by many other artists including Barbra Streisand and Elvis Presley.
"Perdido" is a jazz standard composed by Juan Tizol that was recorded on December 3, 1941 by Duke Ellington. However, it is the January 21, 1942, recording of the song on the Victor label by the Ellington orchestra, of which Tizol was a member, that is regarded as the original recording. In 1944, Ervin Drake and Hans Lengsfelder were hired to write lyrics for the song.
Juan Tizol Martínez was a Puerto Rican trombonist and composer. He is best known as a member of Duke Ellington's band, and as the co-writer of the jazz standards "Caravan", "Pyramid" and "Perdido".
Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington was an American composer, pianist, and leader of a jazz orchestra, which he led from 1923 until his death over a career spanning more than fifty years.
He wrote the words and music for "It Was a Very Good Year" in 1961, when a publisher friend told him that Bob Shane of the folk music group the Kingston Trio would be in the publisher's office the next morning, and the publisher asked Drake to write a song for Shane to sing solo.Shane recorded it for the album Goin' Places and other folk performers covered it. In a 2009 interview, Drake said that in 1965, Frank Sinatra had heard the song on his car radio as he was driving home in the desert and immediately pulled over in the middle of the night to a gas station and pay phone. He called Gordon Jenkins and told him he wanted him to make an arrangement with plenty of strings and maybe an interesting instrument like the oboe could be used as well. When he arrived back in L.A. he recorded it for his career comeback album September of My Years . The Sinatra recording was a Top 30 single on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in 1966, and made No.1 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
Folk music includes traditional folk music and the genre that evolved from it during the 20th-century folk revival. Some types of folk music may be called world music. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted orally, music with unknown composers, or music performed by custom over a long period of time. It has been contrasted with commercial and classical styles. The term originated in the 19th century, but folk music extends beyond that.
Goin' Places is the tenth album by the American folk music group The Kingston Trio, released in 1961. It peaked at number three on the Billboard charts and spent 41 weeks in the Top 40. The lead-off single was "You're Gonna Miss Me" which failed to chart. Its B-side was "En El Agua". Goin' Places was the last album recorded with founder Dave Guard as a member.
Francis Albert Sinatra was an American singer, actor, and producer who was one of the most popular and influential musical artists of the 20th century. He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 150 million records worldwide.
As a lyricist, Drake, with composer Irene Higginbotham, wrote the jazz standard "Good Morning Heartache". It has been recorded by many artists, including Billie Holiday and later Diana Ross when she portrayed Holiday in the movie Lady Sings the Blues .Most recently, Gloria Estefan recorded it for her 2013 album The Standards , and sang it to Ervin and wife Edith on live TV on CBS This Morning . Following the performance Ervin, Gloria and the two hosts bantered a while about love and love lost.
Irene Higginbotham was an American songwriter and concert pianist. She is best known for co-writing the Billie Holiday song "Good Morning Heartache" (1946).
"Good Morning Heartache" is a song written by Irene Higginbotham, Ervin Drake, and Dan Fisher. It was recorded by jazz singer Billie Holiday on January 22, 1946.
Eleanora Fagan, better known as Billie Holiday, was an American jazz singer with a career spanning nearly thirty years. Nicknamed "Lady Day" by her friend and music partner Lester Young, Holiday had a seminal influence on jazz music and pop singing. Her vocal style, strongly inspired by jazz instrumentalists, pioneered a new way of manipulating phrasing and tempo. She was known for her vocal delivery and improvisational skills, which made up for her limited range and lack of formal music education.
Drake was the founding president of American Guild of Authors and Composers from 1973 to 1982, which has since changed its name to Songwriters Guild of America.
The Songwriters Guild of America (SGA) is an organization founded in 1931, to help "advance, promote, and benefit" the profession of songwriters. It was founded as the Songwriters Protective Association by Billy Rose, George W. Meyer and Edgar Leslie. SGA issued the first standard songwriters contract in 1932 and most writers consider it the 'standard' agreement in the industry. in 1982, SGA moved its executive office from New York City to Nashville. As of February 2012, the Songwriters Guild of America, Inc., has been operating as a Tennessee corporation. Since 1973, The Songwriters Guild Foundation has been organized as a New York corporation.
On January 15, 2015, Drake died at his home in Great Neck, New York due to complications from bladder cancer aged 95.
Drake received several honorary doctorates and achievement awards, as well as being inducted into the Songwriter's Hall of Fame in 1983.
On June 30, 2013, Five Towns College named the Ervin Drake Popular Music Center after Drake.
English-language lyrics written for foreign-language songs
With the Red Norvo Quintet: Live in Australia, 1959 is a live album by American singer Frank Sinatra, recorded in 1959 but released in 1997.
"Al di là" is a song written by Italian composer Carlo Donida and lyricist Mogol, and recorded by Betty Curtis. The English lyrics were written by Ervin Drake. The song was the Italian entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 1961, performed in Italian by Curtis at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes, France, on 18 March 1961, after Curtis had won the 1961 edition of the Sanremo Music Festival on 2 February 1961, which served as the Italian national selection from 1958 to 1966.
Ella Fitzgerald Live at Mister Kelly's is a live album of a 1958 Ella Fitzgerald performance at Mister Kelly's, and released in 2007.
Seven, Come Eleven is a live album by jazz guitarists Herb Ellis and Joe Pass that was released in 1974
My Favorite Instrument is a 1968 album by jazz pianist Oscar Peterson. It was his first solo piano release.
Roy Eldridge 4 – Montreux '77 is a 1977 live album by Roy Eldridge.
Rockin' in Rhythm: A Tribute to Duke Ellington is an album by jazz guitarist John Pizzarelli celebrating the music of Duke Ellington.
The Lionel Hampton Art Tatum Buddy Rich Trio is a 1955 studio album by Lionel Hampton, Art Tatum and Buddy Rich for Norman Granz' Clef Records. The album has been re-issued on Verve as Tatum Hampton Rich and by Pablo as The Tatum Hampton Rich Trio and as Volume three of Pablo's series, The Tatum Group Masterpieces.
Previously Unreleased Recordings is an album by saxophonist Sonny Stitt featuring compositions associated with Duke Ellington which was originally recorded in 1960 and released on the Verve label in 1973. Norman Granz probably didn't want it released during Johnny Hodges's lifetime and even here it is not billed as a Ellington tribute. On CD it can be found on Import as part of Rearin' Back / Tribute To Duke Ellington
Hans Lengsfelder was a composer and playwright who also wrote under the pen name(s): H.J. Lengsfelder, Harry Lenk and John Peters. He emigrated to the U.S. in 1939. He had mixed success with his Broadway musical comedies.
Flute Fraternity is an album by multi-instrumentalists Herbie Mann and Buddy Collette recorded at sessions in 1957 and released on the Mode label.
Stride Right is an album by American jazz saxophonist Johnny Hodges and pianist/organist Earl "Fatha" Hines featuring performances recorded in 1966 and released on the Verve label.
The Oscar Pettiford Orchestra in Hi-Fi is an album by bassist/cellist and composer Oscar Pettiford which was recorded in 1956 and first issued on the ABC-Paramount label. The album was reissued on CD on Impulse! Records as Deep Passion in 1994 combined with The Oscar Pettiford Orchestra in Hi-Fi Volume Two.
Blues for Duke is an album by saxophonist Sonny Stitt featuring selections associated with Duke Ellington recorded in 1975 and released on the Muse label in 1978.
Stomp Off Let's Go is an album by American jazz saxophonist Sonny Stitt, featuring performances recorded in 1976 for the Flying Dutchman label.
Newport 1958 is a live album by pianist Dave Brubeck and his quartet recorded at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival in Rhode Island of music by and associated with Duke Ellington. Several of the tracks were later re-recorded in New York City due to sound problems with the live Newport recordings.
All Star Road Band is a live album by American pianist, composer and bandleader Duke Ellington recorded at Sunset Ballroom in Carrolltown, Pennsylvania for radio broadcast and first released as a double LP on Bob Thiele's Doctor Jazz label in 1983. The album was rereleased on CD under the title All Star Road Band Volume One.
Reverse the Charges is an album by vocalist Etta Jones which was recorded in 1991 and 1992 and released on the Muse label.