Now hear this: Jimmy Van Heusen was born 100 years ago [by David Lehman]
and has been dead for twenty-three years but his songs are as timeless as "Darn That Dream," "Swinging on a Star," "But Beautiful," "Here's That Rainy Day," "Love and Marriage," "Come Fly with Me," "My Kind of Town," and "The Tender Trap." This is Van Heusen's centennial year, and d.j. Sid Gribetz presents a five hour tribute to the composer in a special edition of “Jazz Profiles” on WKCR radio today, Sunday February
24, from 2-7 PM. That's 89.9 FM in NYC. Van Heusen paired with Johnny Burke and later with Sammy Cahn. With Sammy he wrote a lot of material especially for Sinatra and took home Oscars for "All the Way," "High Hopes," and "Call Me Irresponsible."
Van Heusen [shown here, right, with Sammy Cahn] was born in Syracuse, NY on January 26, 1913 as Edward
Chester Babcock. He named himself after a shirt, thinking it a classy moniker. When he moved to New York City in the 1930s, Harold Arlen -- another escapee from snow country -- befriended him and got his first major break with a gig at the Cotton Club. “Darn That
Dream,” first first big hit, was written for Benny Goodman. Van Heusen teamed with lyricist Johnny Burke to produce “Polka Dots And Moonbeams,” “Imagination,” "But Beautiful," “It Could
Happen To You," “Here’s That Rainy Day,” and “Like Someone In Love.”
Van Heusen, who died in 1990 at 77, was a high-living, fun-loving Sinatra buddy whose greatness was recognized by vocalists ranging from Billie Holiday and Dinah Washington to Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney, not to mention Joe Williams with the Count Basie sound and Chet Baker in West Coast cool. Five of today's precious hours will be devoted to Van Heusen songs on the Columbia University radio station, WKCR, 89.9 on the FM radio dial in New York City, and
available around the world over the internet at www.wkcr.org and on itunes radio.