Burton Lane was an American composer and lyricist known for his work on film and in the theatre. Born in New York City, Lane studied classical piano as a child. When he was just 14, he was commissioned by the Shuberts to write songs for the revue, Greenwich Village Follies. He dropped out of high school to continue writing music and his work caught the attention of George Gershwin. By the time Lane was 18, he had seen his first songs performed in the Broadway revue. Three’s a Crowd. The following year, he wrote the music for Earl Carroll’s Vanities of 1931.
After this initial success on Broadway, Lane moved to Hollywood and his songs “Everything I Have Is Yours” and “Heigh-Ho, the Gang’s All Here,” were sung by Art Jarrett, Fred Astaire, and Joan Crawford in the 1931 film Dancing Lady. In 1951, he collaborated with Alan Jay Lerner on the score for Royal Wedding. The film starred Fred Astaire and Jane Powell, and Lerner and Lane’s song “Too Late Now” was Oscar-nominated.
He continued to work in film, but returned to Broadway several times. His most notable work included Hold Onto your Hats (1940), Finian’s Rainbow (1947), On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (1965), and Carmelina (1980). On a Clear Day and Carmelina saw Lane collaborate with Lerner again and the shows’ scores were both Tony-nominated. The original cast album of On a Clear Day went on to win a Grammy award.
Lane was inducted into the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame in 1971.
More about Burton Lane