Dana Suesse, whom we hope is celebrating her 103rd birthday today, wherever she may be, was a wonderfully talented composer who might fairly be considered the distaff George Gershwin.
Like Gershwin, she wrote memorably lush tunes that were informed by blues and jazz, and she also crossed over to create orchestral works that reflected the same influences.
Born in Kansas City, Missouri, Suesse toured vaudeville as a child pianist until she moved with her mother to New York City in 1926. There, she studied piano as she began to make her mark as a composer, writing such hits as “You Ought to Be in Pictures” and “My Silent Love.” [CORRECTED] Eventually, bandleader Paul Whiteman commissioned her to write “Concerto in Three Rhythms,” much as he asked Gershwin to compose “Rhapsody in Blue.”
For the rest of her life, Suesse would traffic in both popular melodies and orchestral works. She continued to work right up until the time of her death in 1987.
2 thoughts on “Happy 103rd to a Suesse Miss!”
Dear web master:
It was wonderful that you celebrated the birth of Dana Suesse on your web site. Her most famous songs are “You Oughta Be In Pictures,” “The Night Is Young And You’re So Beautiful,” “My Silent Love” and “Ho Hum.” She did NOT write “Was That The Human Thing To Do” (Sammy Fain and Joe Young), but she made a piano roll recording of it. If you need any more photos or sheet music of Suesse, hundreds of them may be found on her Facebook page.
Keep up the good work. I look forward to more of your postings.
Dana Suesse Music Co.
Thanks for the correction, Peter, and for all the work you do to keep alive the public’s interest in the music of the first half of the 20th century.
We’re pleased to have you pay us a visit here at Cladrite Radio.