Songwriting great Burton Lane, who began his composing career in Tin Pan Alley in the 1920s and later wrote numerous songs for both Broadway and Hollywood, died Sunday in New York City. He was 84.
A member of ASCAP since 1933, Lane is perhaps best remembered for two Broadway musicals: “Finian’s Rainbow,” in collaboration with E.Y. (Yip) Harburg, and “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever,” written with Alan Jay Lerner, which garnered a Grammy award.
Born in New York City on Feb. 2, 1912, Lane’s musical career began at the age of 15, when he became employed by Remick Music as a songwriter.
Lane went on to write the songs to four Broadway musical revues including “Three’s a Crowd,” “The Third Little Show” and the ninth edition of “Earl Carroll’s Vanities.”
In 1933 Lane’s career took off after penning the hit “Everything I Have Is Yours,” which appeared in the Joan Crawford-Clark Gable feature “Dancing Lady.”
During the next 20 years, Lane contributed his composing talents to more than 30 films, including “Babes on Broadway,” “Royal Wedding,” “Ship Ahoy” and “St. Louis Blues.”
Some of his songs included “How Are Things in Glocca Morra,” “That Old Devil Moon,” “Look to the Rainbow,” “How About You, ” “Come Back to Me” and “On a Clear Day you Can See Forever.”
A member of ASCAP since 1933, Lane served on ASCAP’s Board from 1985-96. He also was president of the American Guild of Authors and Composers (now the Songwriters Guild) from1957-66.
Lane, an inductee into the songwriters Hall of Fame, received two Oscar nominations (“How About You” and “Too Late Now”) during his career.
ASCAP president Marilyn Bergman said: “We all mourn the passing of a true songwriting giant. Burton Lane was a brilliant composer and a strong advocate for the rights of all creators. He was a vital part of ASCAP for many years, and we extend our deepest condolences to Lynn and their family.”
Lane is survived by his wife, Lynn, and a daughter.
Funeral services will be held 11:15 a.m. today at Riverside Chapel in New York City.