Pamela Rose : Wild Women of Song
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Vee Lawnhurst & Tot Seymour

    "Hers and Hits"
    1905 - 1992

    And Then Some

    When lyricist Tot Seymour paired up with pianist/composer Vee Lawnhurst, they must have known it was a dream partnership. How else to explain the long stream of hit tunes that poured out of them? Their publishing company, Famous Music, touted them as "the first successful team of girl song writers in popular music history." Individually and together Tot Seymour and Vee Lawnhurst were pioneers in the new medium of radio, and their songs, though perhaps not as well known today, were ubiquitous with the popular music landscape of the 1930's.

    Born Grace Mann in New York City, Tot Seymour was already in demand as a very good lyricist in the 1920's. A staff lyricist at Irving Berlin's publishing Company (Waterson, Berlin and Snyder), she wrote special material for headliners Fannie Brice, Sophie Tucker and Mae West, as well as contributing to many of the Ziegfeld Follies revues. Soon she was collaborating with tunesmiths Sigmund Romberg and J. Fred Coots (with whom she wrote "I Miss a Little Miss"). Other hits included "Swingin' on a Hammock" and "I'm Makin' Hay in the Moonlight (In My Baby's Arms)".

    Vee Lawnhurst (born Laura Lowenhurz of New York City), had been busy wowing audiences with her really superb piano playing. As half of a duo with fellow pianist Muriel Pollack, she cut numerous records and piano rolls. Appearances on the nascent form of radio put her squarely on the path of success as a performer, where sometimes she would sing as well. She naturally fell into writing songs, and penned a few early hits "I'm Keepin' Company" (with Lucy Bender Sokole and Dave Dreyer) and the plaintive "I Couldn't Tell Them What to Do" (with Roy Turk).

    Click to read the full bio of Tot Seymour & Vee Lawnhurst...

Suggested Listening
    "Cross Patch" - Louis Prima & His New Orleans Gang

    "Accent on Youth" - Dinah Washington (The Complete Dinah Washington). When she turns the title phrase, I get goosebumps. Duke Ellington has a really lovely version featuring Johnny Hodges on saxophone.

    "Us on a Bus" - Fats Waller


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