27 January 1885, New York City, New York, USA, d. 11 November 1945, New York City, New York, USA. One of the most important composers in the history of American popular music, Kern was taught to play the piano by his mother, and proved to be a gifted musician with a remarkable ear. While still at junior school he was dabbling with composition, and by his mid-teens was simultaneously studying classical music and writing songs in the popular vein. He became a song plugger in New Yorks Tin Pan Alley and occasionally accompanied leading entertainers of the day. Some of his early songs were picked up by producers of Broadway shows and were also used in London, a city Kern visited first in 1902/3 and thereafter held in great affection. During the next few years Kern became a familiar figure at theatres in London and New York, working on scores and acting as a rehearsal pianist. He had his first hit in 1905 with Howd You Like To Spoon With Me?...
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