George David Weiss – Mentor

How Harry Met Sally.. err.. How Den Met Betsy Hammer: Through Sowngwriters Guild President the late, great George David Weiss

“What A Wonderful World” because of you, George David Weiss. GDW wrote some of the most popular pop songs of the ’40s, ’50s, & ’60s. He worked with many collaborators, but a large number of his well-known songs were written with Bennie Benjamin. Some of their songs, include “Rumors Are Flying” (’46, Frankie Carle, Les Paul), “Surrender” (’46, Perry Como), “Confess” (’48, Patti Page), “I Don’t See Me In Your Eyes Anymore” (’49, Gordon Jenkins), “Can Anyone Explain? (No! No! No!)” (’50, Ames Brothers, Ray Anthony), “Echoes” (’50, Jo Stafford & Gordon MacRae), “I’ll Never Be Free” (’50, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Jordan, Kay Starr), “To Think You’ve Chosen Me” (’50, Eddy Howard), “I Ran All the Way Home” (’51, Sarah Vaughan), “Jet” (’51, Nat “King” Cole), “Wheel of Fortune” (’52, Kay Starr), “Cross Over the Bridge” (’54, Patti Page), and “How Important Can It Be?” (’55, Joni James).

Weiss also had successful song hits with other composers. That list includes “Lullaby of Birdland” (’52, with George Shearing), “Can’t Help Falling In Love” (’61, with Hugo Peretti and Luigi Creatore, recorded by Elvis , “What A Wonderful World” (’67, with Bob Thiele, recorded by Louis Armstrong), “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” (’61, with Peretti and Creatore, recorded by the Tokens), and “That Sunday, That Summer” (’63, with Joe Sherman, recorded by Nat “King” Cole). Weiss’ movie scores include Murder, Inc. (’60), Gidget Goes to Rome (’63), Mediterranean Holiday (’64), and Mademoiselle (’66).

Weiss collaborated on three Broadway musicals. The first, Mr. Wonderful (’56, with Jerry Bock and Larry Holofcener), starred Sammy Davis, Jr. and featured the title song as well as “Too Close For Comfort.”The others were First Impressions, based on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (’59, with Robert Goldman and Glenn Paxton), and Maggie Flynn ’68, with Peretti and Creatore), set in New York during the Civil War, which starred Shirley Jones and Jack Cassidy.Weiss and Will Severin composed the family musical, A Tale of Cinderella, which premiered in December ’94 at the Theater Institute in Troy, New York and filmed for PBS.

Weiss had been president of the Songwriters Guild of America for many years.

Thank you for being a Light. And for introducing Den and Betsy to one another… the best is yet to be.

Liz Chandler, Website Writer