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J. Fred Coots

John Frederick Coots (May 2, 1897 – April 8, 1985) was an American songwriter. He composed over 700 popular songs and over a dozen Broadway shows. In 1934, Coots wrote the melody with his then chief collaborator, lyricist Haven Gillespie, for the biggest hit for them both "Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town." The song became one of the biggest sellers in American history.

In 1934, when Gillespie brought him the lyrics to "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town", Coots came up with the skeleton of the music in just ten minutes. Coots took the song to his publisher, Leo Feist Inc., who liked it but thought it was "a kids' song" and didn't expect too much from it. Coots offered the song to Eddie Cantor who used it on his radio show that November and it became an instant hit. The morning after the radio show there were orders for 100,000 copies of sheet music and by Christmas sales had passed 400,000.

Birth and Death Data: Born May 2nd, 1897 (New York City), Died New York City

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1920 - 1942

Roles Represented in DAHR: composer, songwriter, tenor vocal, lyricist, piano

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 292 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor B-27129 10-in. 11/9/1922 Time will tell Great White Way Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Victor B-28913 10-in. 11/7/1923 Home town blues Virginians Jazz/dance band composer  
Victor B-29537 10-in. 2/21/1924 Not yet, Suzette! Brooke Johns Orchestra ; Brooke Johns Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer  
Victor B-29565 10-in. 3/3/1924 Innocent eyes International Novelty Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Victor B-30416 10-in. 6/26/1924 In the candle light Peerless Quartet Male vocal quartet, with orchestra composer  
Victor BVE-32763 10-in. 7/9/1925 Why is love? Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Victor BVE-33307 10-in. 8/13/1925 The promenade walk Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band composer  
Victor BVE-43663 10-in. 4/22/1928 It was the dawn of love Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal quartet composer  
Victor BVE-46620 10-in. 7/27/1928 Moonlight madness Nathaniel Shilkret ; Victor Orchestra Orchestra, with male vocal solo composer  
Victor BVE-47511 10-in. 9/13/1928 Doin' the raccoon George Olsen and his Music Jazz/dance band, with male vocal chorus composer  
Victor BVE-47549 10-in. 9/21/1928 'Round evening Charlie Farrell ; Jim Miller Male vocal duet, with violin, guitar, and piano composer  
Victor BVE-47801 10-in. 10/3/1928 A precious little thing called love George Olsen and his Music Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo composer  
Victor BVE-48614 10-in. 11/22/1928 'Round evening Johnny Hamp ; Kentucky Serenaders Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer  
Victor BVE-48626 10-in. 11/27/1928 Here comes my ball and chain Coon-Sanders Original Nighthawk Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer  
Victor BVE-48951 10-in. 4/1/1929 A precious little thing called love Jesse Crawford Pipe organ solo songwriter  
Victor BVE-49259 10-in. 12/14/1928 A love tale of Alsace Lorraine Pennsylvanians ; Fred Waring Jazz/dance band, with male vocal trio (takes 7-9); with male vocal solo (takes 1-6) composer  
Victor MVE-49319 16-in. 12/1/1928 The shopworn angel Motion Picture Orchestra Motion picture soundtrack : Orchestra composer  
Victor BVE-49663 10-in. 1/18/1929 Doin' the raccoon Willard Robison Male vocal solo, with piano (self-accompaniment) composer  
Victor BVE-49668 10-in. 1/21/1929 A love tale of Alsace Lorraine Sam Coslow Male vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor BVE-49932 10-in. 2/7/1929 I'm thirsty for kisses, hungry for love Dick Robertson ; Nathaniel Shilkret ; Victor Orchestra Orchestra, with male vocal solo composer  
Victor BVE-49976 10-in. 2/20/1929 A precious little thing called love Johnny Marvin ; Ed Smalle Male vocal duet, with instrumental ensemble composer  
Victor BVE-49993 10-in. 2/25/1929 A love tale of Alsace-Lorraine Melody Three Male vocal trio, with orchestra composer  
Victor BVE-50512 10-in. 2/22/1929 It's a precious little thing called love Earl Hines Piano solo, with clarinet and trumpet composer  
Victor PBVE-50873 10-in. 4/28/1929 Sweetheart, where are you tonight Gus Arnheim ; Gus Arnheim Orchestra Jazz/dance band songwriter  
Victor BVE-51084 10-in. 4/8/1929 It's a precious little thing called love McKinney's Cotton Pickers Jazz/dance band composer  
(Results 1-25 of 292 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Coots, J. Fred," accessed August 12, 2020, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/106489.

Coots, J. Fred. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved August 12, 2020, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/106489.

"Coots, J. Fred." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 12 August 2020.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/106489

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