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Gerald Marks

Gerald Marks, a Tin Pan Alley composer known for the song “All of Me,” died of natural causes Jan. 27 in New York. He was 96.

“All of Me,” written in 1931 with Seymour Simons, has been recorded by artists including Paul Whiteman, Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Frank Sinatra and Willie Nelson.

Another of his notable tunes, “Is It True What They Say About Dixie?,” was written in 1936 with Irving Caesar and Sammy Lerner. It was first made popular by Al Jolson and later recorded by Rudy Vallee.

A native of Saginaw, Mich., Marks also contributed to the scores of four Broadway shows, including “Ziegfeld Follies,” and wrote for events ranging from school safety programs (“Irving Caesar’s Sing a Song of Safety”) to World War II bond drives (“Dig Down Deep”).

Until five years ago, he was still giving college lectures about his days writing music in Tin Pan Alley and at the time of his death was finishing a book, “What I Found in the Alley.”

For his 96th birthday, he wrote the song “At My Age, Why Ask?” and would sing it to friends who called to ask about his health.

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