Sidney Clare

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Lyricist Sidney Clare was born in New York City on August 15, 1892, and got his start performing and writing on the vaudeville circuit, though primarily as a dancer and comic. He also tried his hand at…
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Lyricist Sidney Clare was born in New York City on August 15, 1892, and got his start performing and writing on the vaudeville circuit, though primarily as a dancer and comic. He also tried his hand at songwriting, however, and came up with an early Tin Pan Alley standard in 1921's "Ma, He's Makin' Eyes at Me," a collaboration with composer Con Conrad that first became a hit for Eddie Cantor. "I'd Climb the Highest Mountain (If I Knew I'd Find You)," completed five years later with composer Lew Brown, was a hit early on for both Sophie Tucker and Al Jolson, and was later covered by numerous jazzmen. 1931's "Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone," written with Sam Stept, was a hit for Gene Austin, and became even more enduringly popular among jazz artists after being recorded by Louis Armstrong. However, Clare didn't enter his most prolific period until he got involved in the motion picture industry, starting with the full score of 1929's Street Girl, the first release by RKO Pictures. After relocating permanently to Los Angeles, Clare worked on music for over 50 films, scoring one of his biggest successes by co-writing Shirley Temple's signature song, "On the Good Ship Lollipop," with Richard A. Whiting for 1934's Bright Eyes. Another song for Temple, the Buddy de Sylva co-write "Polly Wolly Doodle," appeared in the following year's The Littlest Rebel. Other film successes include "Keeping Myself for You," with Vincent Youmans; the jazz/pop standard "You're My Thrill," written with Jay Gorney for 1933's Jimmy and Sally; and multiple songs -- most with Oscar Levant -- for the 1935 Alice Faye vehicle Music Is Magic. Additionally, "I Think You're Ducky" was used as a theme song for Warner Brothers cartoons for a brief period during the early '30s. After the '30s drew to a close, Clare's work tailed off, though he continued to write on a more sporadic basis in years to come. He passed away in Los Angeles on August 29, 1972.