Clay Boland

b. 25 October 1903, Olyphant, Pennsylvania, USA, d. 23 July 1963, Queens, New York, USA. A composer with a relatively modest output, after attending university Boland practised dentistry for a time while…
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Artist Biography

b. 25 October 1903, Olyphant, Pennsylvania, USA, d. 23 July 1963, Queens, New York, USA. A composer with a relatively modest output, after attending university Boland practised dentistry for a time while also playing piano in various dance bands. His most enduring song, ‘The Gypsy In My Soul’, which he wrote in 1937 with lyricist Moe Jaffe, was introduced in Fifty-Fifty, one of the renowned University Of Pennsylvania Mask And Wig shows for which Boland used to write and direct. Mildred Bailey made what many consider to be the definitive recording of the song, and there were several popular versions in Britain by Roy Fox, Nat Gonella, and Jack Harris in the late 30s. Later, an outstanding recording was released by Eydie Gorme on her first album, Eydie Gorme, in 1957. She also featured it effectively in her nightclub act, with a special lyric by Fred Elton. Another of Boland’s well-known songs, ‘Stop Beatin’ Around The Mulberry Bush’, which was adapted from a nursery song, was written with another of his regular lyricists, Bickley Reichner, and was successful in 1938 for Tommy Dorsey (with a vocal by Edythe Wright and Skeets Herfurt), Count Basie (Jimmy Rushing), Kay Kyser, and Al Donohue (Paula Kelly). Benny Goodman had a hit with Boland’s ‘When I Go A-Dreamin’’, and Kay Kyser took another of the composer’s Mask And Wig numbers, ‘Ya Got Me’, into the US Hit Parade in 1938. Boland and Reichner’s ‘Tell Me At Midnight’ proved to be another popular item for Tommy Dorsey in 1940, with a Frank Sinatra vocal, and Boland’s other compositions included ‘An Apple A Day’, ‘Something Has Happened To Me’, ‘Midnight On The Trail’, ‘There’s No Place Like Your Arms’, ‘Stop! It’s Wonderful’, and ‘How I’d Like To Be With You In Bermuda’. After military service in World War II, Boland concentrated mainly on his publishing interests, although he did continue to write some more Mask And Wig shows.