Music: Walter Gross / Lyrics: Jack Lawrence
Sometimes a Song this week is a Great American Songbook selection called “Tenderly.” The melody was composed by Walter Gross, a child prodigy who grew up to be a pianist for a number of big bands, including Tommy Dorsey’s, and who was an executive for Musicraft, a recording company where he worked as a composer, conductor, arranger, pianist, and talent scout. In this capacity, Gross became a fixture among the constellation of composers, musicians, singers and lyricists working in New York in the 1930’s and 1940’s and was a sought-after arranger and conductor of recording-studio orchestras for many a rising star of the era.
Walter Gross was a musical genius, and his sweet melody that was destined for fame was known in his musical circles and among his friends long before any words were written for it, much less a title. Everyone called it “Walter’s tune.” If not for the persistence of lyricist Jack Lawrence, the composition might have stayed in the composer’s private collection. …
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to Word & Song by Anthony Esolen to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.