“Lullaby Of Birdland” Lyricist George David Weiss Dead At 89

Posted by D.A. Gutierrez in History, Jazz Events, News

August 24th, 2010   2 Comments »

George David Weiss (L) and Bennie Benjamin (R) in their office, New York, NY, circa April 1947.

George David Weiss (left) and Bennie Benjamin (right) in their office circa April 1947. PHOTO CREDIT: William P. Gottlieb

It’s always amazing how many unknown artists touch my life through their work; artists such as George David Weiss who I only find out about through the obituaries.

If you’ve ever tapped your foot or broken out into spontaneous song over tunes like “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” “What A Wonderful World,” or my personal favorite “Lullaby of Birdland,” you can thank Mr. Weiss. (Here’s an interesting bit of trivia – because of some music industry B.S. preventing ASCAP and BMI composers from collaborating, his teaming with George Shearing on “Lullaby of Birdland” was under the pseudonym “B. Y. Forster.”)

Mr. Weiss wrote many other hit songs spanning multiple genres in the middle part of the 20th century. He passed away yesterday at his home in Oldwick, NJ, at the age of 89.

You can read more about this great composer’s life in the NY Times obituary or in his Wikipedia entry.

  • Rick Starr

    We are producing a tribute to Mr. Weiss this Sunday (Nov. 20th. ) called
    ‘rick’s pix:  Mr. Wonderful, the songs of Georger David Weiss’  for the Actors Fund.
    Tickets are available at:
    http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/208856
    Among the wondeful performers will be Shirley Jones and her son, Patrick Cassidy with several selections
    from “Maggie Flynn”. The Broadway show written by Mr. Weiss  & Creatore & Peretti for Shirley & her husband Jack Cassidy.
    Please join us if you’re in LA

  • This is great, Rick! We’re not in LA, but we’ll tweet this out. Good luck with the event and have fun!