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Manny Kurtz

Emanuel Kurtz Curtis Mann
Lyricist, Music Publisher

Manny Kurtz was born in Brooklyn, New York, where he went to high school and college before beginning work in the music publishing business. He wrote or co-wrote the lyrics for over 250 songs including the English lyrics for the Eddie Fisher hit “Santa Lucia” (1954) and the English lyrics for “Let it Be Me”(1960) a hit recording for the Everly Brothers, Elvis Presley, Betty Everett & Jerry Butler, Glen Campbell & Bobbie Gentry, and Willie Nelson.

Kurtz’s most significant contribution to the jazz world is (with Irving Mills) the lyrics to Duke Ellington’s “In a Sentimental Mood” (1935). He is also credited with co-writing (with Mills) the lyrics to Ellington’s “Delta Serenade” (1934). Despite Kurtz’s success with “In a Sentimental Mood” and his position as a staff writer at Mills Studios, the Ellington collaborations seemed to have ended there.

-- Jeremy Wilson

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