Songwriters Friends



Ben Bernie was born Benjamin Anzelwitz in New York City on May 30, 1891. He studied at the New York College of Music, CCNY and Columbia School of Mines. In his early career, Bernie performed in vaudeville sketches as a monologist and violinist before starting a dance band in 1922.

Bernie’s band featured pianist/arranger Al Goering, trumpeter Bill ‘Jazz’ Moore and saxophonist Jack Pettis. Later lineups included the alto saxophonist Dick Stabile in the early '30s, and the more swinging arrangements of Gray Rains in the late '30s.

Bernie got his own radio series, and became known for his sense of humor and trademark expression, "Yowsah, Yowsah!" He named himself "the Old Maestro" and called his band Ben Bernie & All the Lads. During the 1930s, Bernie also had a long-running "feud" with columnist Walter Winchell, leading to the duo co-starring in the films Wake Up and Live (1937) and Love and Hisses (1938). Bernie had acted in a Broadway production before this, 1928's Here's Howe. His band played at the Chicago World's Fair in 1933; appeared in the movies Shoot the Works (1934) and Stolen Harmony (1935); and recorded for the Brunswick, Columbia, and Vocalion labels, among others.

As a songwriter, Bernie’s greatest success came with "Sweet Georgia Brown," a number one hit in 1926 (vocals by Arthur Fields). Among his 44 top ten hits from 1923 through 1936 were the #1 hits ‘Sleepy Time Gal’ (1926, vocal by Arthur Fields) and ‘Ain’t She Sweet?’ (1927, vocal by Scrappy Lambert).

Ben Bernie died in Beverly Hills, California on October 20, 1943.

Artists

American Quartet
Andrews Sisters
Louis Armstrong (Satchmo)
Fred Astaire
Chet Atkins
Gene Austin (Voice of the Southland)
Gene Autry
Nora Bayes
Brook Benton
Ben Bernie
Connee Boswell
Fanny Brice
Henry Burr
Cab Calloway
Glen Campbell
Albert Campbell
Carter Family (First Family of Country Music)
Enrico Caruso
Ray Charles
Patsy Cline
Larry Clinton
Rosemary Clooney
Nat Cole (King)
Arthur Collins
Perry Como
Bing Crosby
Bob Crosby
Frank Crumit
Vic Damone
Sammy Davis Jr.
Doris Day
Tommy Dorsey
Jimmy Dorsey
Cliff Edwards
Ruth Etting
Shep Fields
Eddie Fisher
Ella Fitzgerald
Tennessee Ernie Ford
Connie Francis
Aretha Franklin (Queen of Soul)
Lefty Frizzell
Jan Garber
Judy Garland
George J. Gaskin (The Silver Voice Irish Tenor)
Marvin Gaye
Benny Goodman (King of Swing)
Glen Gray
Byron G. Harlan
Marion Harris
Charles Harrison
Haydn Quartet
Dick Haymes
Horace Heidt
Woody Herman
Billie Holiday (Lady Day)
Whitney Houston
Eddy Howard
Ink Spots
Harry James
Lewis James
Al Jolson
Ada Jones
George Jones
Sammy Kaye
Hal Kemp
Wayne King (Waltz King)
Pee Wee King
Kay Kyser
Frankie Laine
Brenda Lee
Ted Lewis
Jerry Lee Lewis (The Killer)
Guy Lombardo
Vincent Lopez
Harry MacDonough
Freddy Martin
Dean Martin
Johnny Mathis
John McCormack
Glenn Miller
Mills Brothers
Vaughn Monroe
Russ Morgan
Billy Murray (The Denver Nightingale)
J.W. Myers
Ozzie Nelson
Olivia Newton-John
George Olsen
Original Dixieland Jazz Band
Vess L. Ossman (The King of the Banjo)
Buck Owens
Patti Page
Minnie Pearl
Peerless Quartet
Peter, Paul & Mary
Elvis Presley (The King)
Ray Price
Prince's Orchestra
Dan Quinn
Leo Reisman
Paul Robeson
Roy Rogers
Linda Ronstadt
Diana Ross
Ben Selvin
Artie Shaw
Nat Shilkret
Dinah Shore
Frank Sinatra
Bessie Smith (Empress of the Blues)
Sousa's Band
Len Spencer
Dusty Springfield
Jo Stafford
Frank Stanley
Kay Starr
Cal Stewart
Barbra Streisand
The 4 Seasons
The 5th Dimension
The Byrds
The Carter Family
The Commodores
The Drifters
The Everly Brothers
The Four Tops
The Impressions
The Miracles
The Platters
The Righteous Brothers
The Spinners
The Supremes
The Temptations
Ernest Tubb (Texas Troubadour)
Sophie Tucker
Van & Schenck
Walter Van Brunt
Sarah Vaughan
Fred Waring
Dionne Warwick
Ted Weems
Kitty Wells
Paul Whiteman
Margaret Whiting
Bert Williams
Andy Williams
Teddy Wilson
Tammy Wynette