Wednesday, January 27, 2010


O compositor americano de musica popular Jerome David Kern, nasceu no 27 de janeiro de 1885, em Nova York, filho de Judeus Alemães (Fanny e George Kern) que o chamaram de Jerome por viverem perto do Parque Jerome, assim chamado em homenagem ao avô (Leonard Jerome) do primeiro-ministro da Inglaterra Winston Churchill, um lugar que ambos gostavam muito.

Jerome cresceu nas imediações da Rua 56, localizada na área central de Manhattan, onde frequentava a escola pública. Sua mãe Fanny foi quem o incentivou a estudar piano. O pai, Henry, era comerciante e negociava pianos, entre outros artigos. Henry queria que o filho tocasse o negócio com ele, mas Jerome optou pela música.

Jerome escreveu mais de setecentas composições, incluindo as famosas "Ol'Man River", "Can't Help Lovin'Dat Man", "A Fine Romance", "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes", "All The Things You Are", "The Way You Look Tonight" e 'Who?". Sua brilhante carreira abrangeu a inclusão de suas composições em musicais da Broadway e filmes de Hollywood, desde 1902 até a sua morte.

Apesar de Jerome ter escrito a maioria de suas canções para o teatro e filmes, a riqueza harmonica de suas composições permitiu a adaptação delas ao idioma jazzistico (cuja principal caracteristica enfatiza o improviso, baseado na estrutura harmonica da canção). Por essa razão, as melodias de Jerome Kern foram adotadas por músicos de jazz e transformadas em standards.

O fabuloso Jerome Kern faleceu em Novembro, de 1945

Acompanhe a melhor leitura de todos os tempos de "The Way You Look Tonight" por Fred Astaire.

American composer of popular music Jerome David Kern, was born on January 27th,1885 in New York City to Fanny and George Kern, both German Jews.They named him Jerome because they lived near Jerome Park, (named after Wiston Churchill's granfather Leonard Jerome) a favorite place of theirs. Kern grew up on 56th Street in Midtown Manhattan, where he attended public school. His mother Fanny Kern encouraged him to take piano lessons. His father, Henry Kern, was a merchandiser and sold pianos among other items. Although Henry wanted his son to go into business with him, Jerome insisted on staying with music.

Jerome Kern wrote around 700 songs, including such classics as "Ol'Man River", "Can't Help Lovin'Dat Man", "A Fine Romance", "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes", "All the Things You Are", "The Way You Look Tonight", "Long Ago (and Far Away0" and "Who?".

His career spanned dozens of Broadway musicals and Hollywood films from 1902 until his death. Although Kern wrote almost exclusively for musical theatre and musical film, the harmonic richness of his compositions lends them well to the jazz idiom (which typically emphasizes improvisation based on a harmonic structure) and many Kern melodies have been adopted by jazz musicians to become standard tunes.

While in high school Kern composed his first musical shows, one for the Ramblers organization at the high school; the second for the Newark Yacht Club. Some of these tunes were eventually recycled for the score of Showboat.

Kern studied at the New York College of Music and then briefly in 1904, in Heidelberg, Germany. From 1905 on, Kern spent large blocks of time in London, contributing songs to numerous London shows. In 1909 he took a boat trip on the River Thames with some friends, and when the boat stopped at Walton-on-Thames, Kern went to a pub and inn called the Swan to have a drink. The proprietor's daughter, Eva Leale, was working behind the bar, and on October 25, 1910, the two were married at St. Mary's in Walton.

In New York, he started working as a rehearsal pianist, initially contributing numbers for interpolation into other composers' scores. On May 1, 1915, Kern was supposed to accompany Charles Frohman to London on board the RMS Lusitania, but overslept after staying up late playing poker. Frohman died in the sinking of the ship.

At the end of 1915, Kern was contracted by producer George Kleine to supply the music for an early movie serial, Gloria's Romance from 1916. (One of the first starring vehicles for Billie Burke, this 16-part serial is now considered a lost film.) In the style of silent film music, he supplied a series of themes for basic characters and turns of plot.

Kern's biggest hit of his early career was the song "They Didn't Believe Me" (lyric by Herbert Reynolds) that was interpolated into the 1914 production The Girl from Utah.

Kern composed sixteen Broadway scores between 1915 and 1920, with the most notable being the shows he wrote for the Princess Theatre, a small (299-seat) house built by Ray Comstock. Comstock and agent Elizabeth Marbury joined forces to produce intimate, small-cast, low-budget musicals and hired Kern and librettist Guy Bolton. These shows were unique on Broadway not only for their small size, but their coherent plots, integrated scores and naturalistic acting.

The 1920s were an extremely productive period in American musical theatre and Kern created at least one show per year for the entire decade.

In 1927, Kern and Hammerstein wrote Show Boat, which musical theatre historian Miles Kreuger has hailed as "the greatest single step forward in American musical theatre, enabling composers, lyricists and librettists to introduce more mature subject matter into their shows." Based on the novel of the same name by Edna Ferber, the sprawling work featured an unusually serious plot highlighting racism and miscegenation. The score is, arguably, Kern's greatest and includes the well-known songs "Ol'Man River" and "Can't Help Lovin'Dat Man" as well as "Make Believe", "You Are Love", "Life Upon the Wicked Stage", "Why Do I Love You", and "Bill".

Although Ferber's novel was filmed unsuccessfully as a part-talkie in 1929 (using few songs from the Kern score), the musical itself was filmed twice, in 1936, and, with Technicolor, in 1951. Both the 1936 and 1951 films were box-office successes; the 1936 film was especially acclaimed by critics.

While most Kern musicals have largely been forgotten except for their songs, Show Boat remains well-remembered and frequently seen. It is a staple of stock productions and has been revived numerous times on Broadway and in London.

Kern passaed away on November,1945.
Reference - Wikipédia
Tradução de Humberto Amorim

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