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March 5: If the Nightingale Could Sing Like Irving

Lawrence Bush
March 4, 2017
Songwriting lyricist Irving Kahal, whose sixteen-year collaboration with Sammy Fain (Feinberg) produced several memorable hit songs, including "You Brought a New Kind of Love to Me" (made famous by Maurice Chevalier and Frank Sinatra) and "I'll Be Seeing You," a World War II favorite, was born in Houtzdale, Pennsylvania on this date in 1903. Kahal was a vaudeville performer when he met Fain, and the pair relocated from Tin Pan Alley to Los Angeles, where they wrote movie tunes for the Marx Brothers, among others, and for Broadway (most notably, the 1938 show, Hellzapoppin'. Kahal was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970, twenty-eight years after his death at the height of his success at age 38. To see the Marx Brothers messing with "You Brought a New Kind of Love to Me," look below. "If the Sandman brought me dreams of you, I'd want to sleep my whole life through, For you brought a new kind of love to me." --Irving Kahal

​​​​Lawrence Bush edited Jewish Currents from 2003 until 2018. He is the author of Bessie: A Novel of Love and Revolution and Waiting for God: The Spiritual Explorations of a Reluctant Atheist, among other books. His new volume of illustrated Torah commentaries, American Torah Toons 2, is scheduled for publication this year.