Jerome Kern (1885-1945) is arguably the father of modern American musical theater. Born in New York of German heritage, he attended the New York College of Music and began to break into Broadway theater during the first decade of the century by having songs of his interpolated into shows. An Anglophile and friend of P.G. Wodehouse, Kern scored his first success with songs inserted into 'The Girl from Utah,' a British import, in 1914, including the ballad “They Didn't Believe Me.”
Breaking away from the European model of waltz music, Kern proved adept at adapting contemporary dance music into his songs as well as producing subtle, inventive ballads. He collaborated with Guy Bolton and, later, Wodehouse on a series of shows presented at the Princess Theater in the middle of the decade, notably 'Very Good Eddie,' and continued to score successes into the '20s.
Jerome Kern really entered...