British lyricist Douglas Furber is probably best known for co-writing "The Bells of St. Mary's," and had one of his greatest successes posthumously with a revival of his show Me and My Girl. Furber was born May 13, 1885, and made his first headway into professional songwriting in tandem with Australian-born composer A. Emmett Adams. After meeting in Southampton in 1914, the two wrote "The Bells of St. Mary's," which was initially rejected by publishing companies but wound up a major hit in the U.S. in 1917. From there, Furber went on to write hits like "Lambeth Walk" (with Noel Gay), "Limehouse Blues" (1924, with Philip Braham), and "God Send You Back to Me" (1925, another collaboration with Adams that sold over a million copies of sheet music). In addition to writing songs, Furber sang and acted in a couple of Broadway revues over 1924-1925. In 1937, he and Noel Gay wrote a musical comedy called Me and My Girl, and in 1945, "The Bells of St. Mary's" became a hit all over again when Bing Crosby recorded it as the title song of his latest film. Furber passed away in London on February 20, 1961; 27 years later, Me and My Girl opened on Broadway with revised and updated lyrics and book. It was a hit, running from 1986-1989 and earning two nominations at the 1987 Tonys (for Best Score and Best Book).
Share this page