Music: Melodies in a Safe

"Composing is like fishing," said the late Jerome Kern. "You get a nibble, but you don't know whether it's a minnow or a marlin until you reel it in." Writing quickly and easily. Kern landed enough songs in his lifetime to serve 92 stage and 25 screen productions, but few people outside the music trade knew that he also piled up a surplus that was never published. Since Kern's death in 1945 at 60, the musical overflow—some 75 waltzes, ballads, rhythm songs, tangos and beguines—has remained in a safe in the Manhattan offices of Chappell & Co., his publishers.


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