William C. K. Irwin, also known as William C. Irwin and Will Irwin (3 January 1907 – 23 October 1998), was an American pianist, conductor, and songwriter.
Irwin was born in San Francisco, and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. With Australian composer Percy Grainger, Irwin studied composition before joining the Manhattan School of Music in New York City.
The musical theatre composer Vernon Duke introduced Irwin to composer and songwriter George Gershwin in the 1920s. Irwin would subsequently join Gershwin and pianist Oscar Levant in piano improvisations at Gershwin's apartment. Irwin began a six-year professional relationship with songwriter and composer Irving Berlin, after being introduced to him by Gershwin. As Berlin could not read or write music Irwin would write down music as Berlin composed, often writing music down for Berlin in the middle of the night.
Irwin was professionally engaged as the musical director of touring productions of the musicals Oklahoma!, South Pacific and The King and I in the 1940s. In the 1960s Irwin became the choral director for Manhattan's Radio City Music Hall and later the halls staff composer and musical director. Irwin retired in 1979, and his wife Helen, died in 1984. They had a son, Dean, who was a television producer for ABC News. Irwin had lived in Staten Island for many years before his death in 1998.
Birth and Death Data: Born January 3rd, 1907, Died October 23rd, 1998
Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1926 - 1949
Roles Represented in DAHR: conductor, composer
|Company||Matrix No.||Size||First Recording Date||Title||Primary Performer||Description||Role||Audio|
|Victor||BS-87226||10-in.||1/2/1935||Love, come take me||Jolly Coburn Orchestra ; Harold van Emburgh||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||composer|
|Victor||BS-03035||10-in.||11/10/1936||What a dummy love has made of me||Florence Case ; Ruby Newman Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo||composer|
|Victor||BS-03887||10-in.||1/5/1937||Long as you have your health||Merry Macs ; Ray Noble Orchestra||Jazz dance band, with female vocal solo and male vocal trio||composer|
|Victor||BS-058267||10-in.||12/17/1940||How did it get so late, so early||Bea Wain||Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band||composer|
|Brunswick||XE20581-XE20583||12-in.||10/29/1926||An American tragedy, part 1||Orchestra (unidentified; Brunswick Records)||Orchestra||composer|
|Brunswick||XE20584-XE20585||12-in.||10/29/1926||An American tragedy, part 2||Orchestra (unidentified; Brunswick Records)||Orchestra||composer|
|Decca||75620||12/22/1949||Texas, li'l darlin'||Kenny Delmar||conductor|
|Decca||75621||12/22/1949||Hootin' owl trail||Danny Scholl||conductor|
|Decca||75622||12/22/1949||The big movie show in the sky||Danny Scholl||conductor|
|Decca||75623||12/22/1949||Reprise: The yodel blues ; Hootin' owl trail ; Texas li'l darlin'||Kenny Delmar||conductor|
|Decca||75624||12/22/1949||Affable, balding me ; It's great to be alive||Fredd Wayne||conductor|
|Decca||75625||12/22/1949||A month of Sundays||Mary Hatcher ; Danny Scholl ; Fredd Wayne||conductor|
|Decca||75626||12/22/1949||The yodel blues||Kenny Delmar ; Mary Hatcher||conductor|
|Decca||75627||12/22/1949||Politics||Kenny Delmar ; Loring Smith||conductor|
Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Irwin, Will," accessed October 20, 2020, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/100352.
Irwin, Will. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved October 20, 2020, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/100352.
"Irwin, Will." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 20 October 2020.
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