Joan Whitney

b. Zoe Parenteau, 26 June 1914, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, d. 12 July 1990, Westport, Connecticut, USA. After attending Finch College in New York City, Whitney turned to showbusiness, adopted her…
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Artist Biography

b. Zoe Parenteau, 26 June 1914, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, d. 12 July 1990, Westport, Connecticut, USA. After attending Finch College in New York City, Whitney turned to showbusiness, adopted her stage name and in 1934 appeared on Broadway in The Great Waltz and was a dancer in the ensemble of Calling All Stars, a show that featured Judy Canova, Ella Logan and Martha Raye. She also made records, not always credited, with various bands, including that led by Leo Reisman. Whitney began writing songs, usually in collaboration with her husband, Alex Kramer (b. 30 May 1903, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, d. 10 February 1998, Westport, Connecticut, USA), whom she had married after studying singing with him. One of their first successes was a 1941 song, ‘High On A Windy Hill’, which was a hit for Jimmy Dorsey. Among the couple’s other songs were ‘It’s Love, Love, Love’, a 1944 song with lyrics by Mack David that was sung in the films Stars On Parade and Song Of Nevada (both 1944), and was recorded by Guy Lombardo, ‘Candy’ again with David, which was recorded by Jo Stafford, and ‘Curiosity’, a 1947 song on which Sam Ward also collaborated. They wrote ‘So You’re The One’, recorded by Eddy Duchin, ‘It All Comes Back To Me Now’, a collaboration with Hy Zaret that was sung in Abroad With Two Yanks (1944) and was recorded by Howard Dulaney with Gene Krupa’s band. Another collaboration with Zaret was ‘My Sister And I’, which was also a popular recording for Dorsey. Whitney and Kramer also wrote ‘Love Somebody’, a 1948 song that was recorded by Doris Day, and ‘Money Is The Root Of All Evil’, sung by Anne Jeffreys in the 1947 film, Riffraff.

Best known of all of Whitney and Kramer’s songs are ‘Far Away Places’ recorded by Bing Crosby and Perry Como, and ‘Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens’, recorded by Louis Jordan. This last song was also used on Broadway in the hit show, Five Guys Named Moe (1992), while ‘Candy’ was revitalized for 1999’s hit Broadway musical, Swing! Whitney also appeared in small roles in a few films: Two Tickets To Broadway and My Favorite Spy (both 1951), Son Of Sinbad (1955) and Jet Pilot (1957). In 1982, Whitney and Kramer were elected to the Songwriters Hall of Fame.