Jerome Kern


Jerome Kern : biography

January 27, 1885 – November 11, 1945

Kern is interred at Ferncliff Cemetery in Westchester County, New York. He was survived by his wife and their daughter, Betty Jane (1913–1996; she married Artie Shaw in 1942 and later Jack Cummings). Kern’s wife eventually remarried, to a singer named George Byron.Banfield, p. 14

Kern’s songs

Among the more than 700 songs by Kern are such classics as "Ol’ Man River", "Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man", "A Fine Romance", "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes", "All the Things You Are", "The Way You Look Tonight" and "Who?".


Jerome Kern was nominated eight times for an Academy Award, and won twice. Seven nominations were for Best Original Song; these included a posthumous nomination in each of 1945 and 1946. One nomination was in 1945 for Best Original Music Score. Kern was not eligible for any Tony Awards, which were not created until 1947. In 1976, Very Good Eddie was nominated for a Drama Desk Award as Outstanding Revival, and the director and actors received various Tony, Drama Desk and other awards and nominations. Elisabeth Welsh was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance in Jerome Kern Goes to Hollywood in 1986, and Show Boat received Tony nominations in both 1983 and 1995, winning for best revival in 1995 (among numerous other awards and nominations), and won the Laurence Olivier Award for best revival in 2008. In 1986, Big Deal was nominated for the Tony for best musical, among other awards, and Bob Fosse won as best choreographer. In 2000, Swing!, featuring Kern’s "I Won’t Dance" was nominated for the Tony for Best Musical, among others. In 2002, Elaine Stritch at Liberty, featuring Kern’s "All in Fun", won the Tony Award for Best Special Theatrical Event. In 2004, Never Gonna Dance received two Tony nominations.

Kern was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame posthumously, in 1970. In 1985, the U.S. Post Office issued a postage stamp (Scott #2110, 22¢), with an illustration of Kern holding sheet music.

Academy Award for Best Original Song

  • 1935 – Nominated for "Lovely to Look At" (lyrics by Dorothy Fields and Jimmy McHugh) from Roberta
  • 1936 – Won for "The Way You Look Tonight" (lyrics by Dorothy Fields) from Swing Time
  • 1941 – Won for "The Last Time I Saw Paris" (lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II) from Lady Be Good
  • 1942 – Nominated for "Dearly Beloved" (lyrics by Johnny Mercer) from You Were Never Lovelier.
  • 1944 – Nominated for "Long Ago (and Far Away)" (lyrics by Ira Gershwin) from Cover Girl
  • 1945 – Posthumously nominated for "More and More" (lyrics by E. Y. Harburg) from Can’t Help Singing
  • 1946 – Posthumously nominated for "All Through the Day" (lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II) from Centennial Summer.

Academy Award for Best Original Music Score

  • 1945 – Posthumously nominated for Can’t Help Singing (with H. J. Salter).