Lyric writer Harold Adamson wrote dozens of standards during the 1930s and '40s, including "Time on My Hands," "Winter Wonderland," "An Affair to Remember," "Everything I Have Is Yours," "I Couldn't Sleep a Wink Last Night," "It's a Wonderful World," "Manhattan Serenade," "There's Something in the Air," and "You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth." Born in Greenville, NJ, in 1906, Adamson began writing verse while in high school. Still, he spent more time on his acting career while at the University of Kansas and later, Harvard. After graduation, one of his lyrics -- "Time on My Hands," co-written by Mack Gordon and Vincent Youmans -- earned a place in Florenz Ziegfeld's 1930 production Smiles. During the rest of the decade, Adamson placed many songs in the popular canon, collaborating with excellent tunesmiths like Burton Lane, J. Fred Coots, Walter Donaldson, and Jimmy McHugh (many of his songs were written as part of a 1933 songwriting contract with the film giant MGM). During World War II, he wrote the patriotic song "Comin' In on a Wing and a Prayer," and contributed two lyrics, "A Lovely Way to Spend an Evening" and "I Couldn't Sleep a Wink Last Night," to the Frank Sinatra vehicle Higher and Higher. Near the end of his career, Adamson wrote songs for the movies A Date with Judy, Around the World in 80 Days, and An Affair to Remember.
by John Bush