British native Reginald "Reg" Connelly was one half of a songwriting partnership with fellow Londoner James "Jimmy" Campbell. Working during the late '20s and early '30s (the glory days of Tin Pan Alley), Connelly and Campbell generally preferred to concentrate on lyrics, often working with outside composers to ensure the quality of the music. Early on, though, they worked exclusively with each other, usually under the pseudonym Irving King; their most prominent success in this guise was 1925's "Show Me the Way to Go Home." Connelly and Campbell penned their first standard in 1928 with composer Ted Shapiro, "If I Had You," which was later recorded by Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, and countless jazz artists. 1931 brought the smash "Goodnight Sweetheart," written with composer Ray Noble and made into a hit by crooner Rudy Vallee. Their biggest success, however, came when they teamed up with composer Harry Woods in 1933 for "Try a Little Tenderness"; not just a staple in its own time, it was revived in 1966 by Otis Redding and transformed into a soul-music touchstone. In addition to writing songs together, Connelly and Campbell also ran their own music publishing company.
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