If "If I Had You" was a song about a hit record, then songwriter Ted Shapiro could proudly file away the "if" part of the title as an irrelevancy. Co-written with Jimmy Campbell and Reginald Connelly, the song has become a jazz and vocal music standard, with dozens of recorded versions by artists ranging from Frank Sinatra to Django Reinhardt to Faron Young. Sometimes simply using his surname as a credit, Shapiro was a native New York City Halloween baby who came up on the Tin Pan Alley scene of the '20s.
A fine pianist, Shapiro started out accompanying many great vaudeville singers such as Nora Bayes, Eva Tanguay, and Sophie Tucker. He became the latter artist's music director, performing alongside Tucker throughout her entire career. As a writer, Shapiro created a series of hits including the aforementioned "If I Had You," originally published in 1928, the frosty "Winter Weather," the distant "Far Away Island," the glittering "A Handful of Stars," the inquisitive "Ask Anyone in Love," and the simply indescribable "Dog on the Piano." His writing partners included his wife, Susan Shapiro. For recordings, the obvious place to look are Sophie Tucker sides. Shapiro also appears in a jazz piano capacity on Miff Mole sessions from the late '20s.