Prolific pop composer Jimmy McHugh had hit songs and Broadway scores from the 1920s into the 1950s. Born in Boston, MA, on July 10, 1894, McHugh went to St. John's Prep School in the city. He first worked as an office boy at the Boston Opera House and later as a rehearsal pianist. McHugh eventually got a job as a song plugger for New York publishing houses, and wrote his first hit in 1916, "Carolina, I'm Coming Back to You." He didn't come up with another popular tune, however, until 1924's "When My Sugar Walks Down the Street." One of the most important songwriting partners McHugh had was lyricist Dorothy Fields, with whom he wrote "I Can't Give You Anything but Love" (1928), "On the Sunny Side of the Street" (1930), and "I'm in the Mood for Love" (1935). He also successfully collaborated with Fields on stage shows and movies from 1928 to 1935. The first of McHugh's numerous Broadway successes was Blackbirds of 1928. Working both with and without Fields, McHugh wrote for films throughout the 1930s and 1940s. Another major collaborator for McHugh was lyricist Harold Adamson, with whom he wrote "Dig You Later" and "Here Comes Heaven," for the 1945 film Doll Face. In addition to his partnerships with Fields and Adamson, McHugh occasionally collaborated with a number of lyricists, including Johnny Mercer, Ted Koehler, Ned Washington, and Frank Loesser. McHugh's last hit came in 1955 with "Too Young to Go Steady."
Share this page