Irving Caesar, who wrote lyrics by "Tea for Two," "Swanee," and "Just a Gigolo" -- among a reported 1000 other published songs -- died Dec. 17 at age 101.
Caesar wrote lyrics for his first Broadway show in 1918, partnered with a gifted newcomer named George Gershwin. Their biggest hit together was "Swanee," a hit for Al Jolson more recently recorded by Mandy Patinkin on one of his solo albums.
Gershwin went on to write with his brother, Ira. Caesar went on to work with many of Broadway's greats during the 1920s. He wrote lyrics to Vincent Youmans' hit No No, Nanette, including "Tea for Two" and "I Want To Be Happy," which was a surprise hit in a 1972 Broadway revival.
Other collaborators included Victor Herbert, Rudolph Friml, Buddy DeSylva and Oscar Levant.
His other songs include "Animal Crackers in My Soup," "I'm the Singer, You Are the Song, "I Was So Young (and You Were So Beautiful" and many more for shows including George White's Scandals and The Greenwich Village Follies. -- By Robert Viagas