b. 16 March 1893, Baltimore, Maryland, USA, d. 5 October 1976, New York, USA. A popular songwriter, whose main output came in the 20s, Baer attended the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Boston, and seemed destined for a career in dentistry before leaving to serve in the American Air Force during World War I. On release, he worked in music publishing and led his own dance band before beginning to write songs in the early 20s. Mostly he contributed the melody, but often wrote lyrics as well. One of his first numbers was ‘All I Need Is You’ (with Lester Santly), and this was followed by several collaborations with L. Wolfe Gilbert: ‘I Miss My Swiss - My Swiss Miss Misses Me’, ‘Don’t Wake Me Up (Let Me Dream)’ (also with Mabel Wayne), ‘When You’re With Somebody Else’ (also with Ruth Etting), ‘My Mother’s Eyes’ (introduced by George Jessel in the 1929 film Lucky Boy), and ‘Lucky Lindy’, which was composed to celebrate Charles Lindbergh’s first solo non-stop flight between New York and Paris in May 1927. Among Baer’s other numbers in the 20s were ‘Mama Loves Papa, Papa Loves Mama’ and ‘June Night’ (both with Cliff Friend), and ‘High Up On A Hill Top’ (George Whiting-Ian Campbell). In 1927 Baer wrote the score for Lady Do, ‘a surprising musical comedy’ that starred Karyl Norman and Nancy Welord, and ran for seven weeks. In 1930, Baer worked with L. Wolfe Gilbert again on ‘Let’s Drink To The Girl Of My Dreams’, which featured in the lavish all-star movie Paramount On Parade, and ‘A Diet Of Love’ (from Happy Days). In the same year the team had several songs, including ‘Believe It Or Not’, ‘I’ve Found My Man’, ‘That’s Worth Waiting For’, ‘Love Among The Millionaires’, and Don’t Be A Meanie’, in a film with a circus setting, Swing High. From then on, Baer’s output declined, but he continued to write occasional numbers, such as ‘It’s The Girl’ (1931, David Oppenheim), ‘Gee, But You’re Swell’ (1936, Charles Tobias), ‘Harriet’ (1945, Paul Cunningham), and ‘There Are Such Things’ (Stanley Adams - George W. Meyer), which was a number 1 record for Tommy Dorsey in 1943, with vocal refrain by Frank Sinatra. One of Baer’s last songs, ‘The Chapel Of The Roses’ (with Remus Harris), which was published in 1951, became a UK Top 20 hit six years later for the popular British ballad singer Malcolm Vaughan.
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