Lyricist Edward Eliscu, whose career in the theatre stretched back to 1924, died June 25 in Newtown, CT, at age 96. according to Variety. The tunesmith penned such standards as "Without a Song" and "Flying Down to Rio." One of the last living links to the era of Gershwin, Berlin and Porter, Eliscu wrote lyrics for such Broadway shows as Murray Anderson's Almanac (1929), Great Day! (1929), Frederika (1937), and Meet the People (1940). He was blacklisted in the 1950s, but returned to the stage in 1962 to write the book and lyrics to the Off Broadway musical The Banker's Daughter.
Eliscu also wrote for Hollywood films, doing his most famous work when he teamed with Gus Kahn to write the lyrics to Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers' first film, Flying Down to Rio. Born in New York, Eliscu began his career as an actor before turning to songwriting in 1927. Late in his life, he was inducted into the Songwriters' Hall of Fame.
Other Eliscu tunes include "More Than You Know," "Orchids in the Moonlight," "Carioca," and "Great Day!"