Herbert Desmond Carter (15 June 1895 – 3 February 1939) was a British lyricist who worked with George and Ira Gershwin, Ivor Novello, and others, and also wrote one of the first English language versions of the notorious "suicide song", "Gloomy Sunday".
He was born in Bristol. In 1924 he wrote most of the lyrics for the London musical Primrose, for which Gershwin wrote the music, his first commission outside the US. The musical was revived in 2003, when one reviewer wrote:
In 1936, Carter wrote English lyrics for the song "Gloomy Sunday" ("Szomorú vasárnap"), which had been written by Hungarian composer Rezső Seress with lyrics by László Jávor. Carter's lyrics were performed and recorded by Paul Robeson, whose recording was successful although most later versions of the song used alternative lyrics by American writer Sam M. Lewis.
Carter also collaborated with leading English popular composers of the period, including Ivor Novello and Noel Gay. He died in London at the age of 43.
Birth and Death Data: Born June 15th, 1895, Died February 3rd, 1939
Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1928 - 1935
Roles Represented in DAHR: lyricist, composer
|Company||Matrix No.||Size||First Recording Date||Title||Primary Performer||Description||Role||Audio|
|Victor||BVE-41527||10-in.||1/9/1928||Little boy blues||Melville Gideon||Male vocal solo, with orchestra||lyricist|
|Victor||BVE-67789||10-in.||1/13/1931||The wind in the willows||Connecticut Yankees ; Rudy Vallée||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||lyricist|
|Victor||BRC-70998||10-in.||12/22/1931||Springtime reminds me of you||Richard Crooks||Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra||lyricist|
|Victor||BS-76074||10-in.||5/2/1933||My temptation||Fred Astaire ; Leo Reisman Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||composer|
|Victor||BS-92998||10-in.||8/20/1935||I'm on the see saw||Fats Waller and his Rhythm||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||lyricist|
|Victor||BS-95338||10-in.||10/5/1935||I'm on a see-saw||Little Ramblers ; Ward Pinkett||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo and vocal ensemble||lyricist|
|Columbia||W151182||10-in.||12/27/1930||The wind in the willows||Ipana Troubadours ; Sam Lanin||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||lyricist|
|Brunswick||C5072||10-in.||1/2/1930||Don’t say goodbye||Leroy Carr||Male vocal solo, with guitar and piano||lyricist|
|Brunswick||C7194||10-in.||1/8/1931||The wind in the willows||Ben Bernie Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo; without vocal (take G)||lyricist|
|Gramophone||0EA707||10-in.||12/12/1934||I'm on a see-saw||Jack Jackson Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||lyricist|
|Gramophone||0EA708||10-in.||12/12/1934||Dancing with a ghost||Jack Jackson Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||lyricist|
|Gramophone||0B1256||10-in.||7/2/1931||O cara mia||Jack Hylton Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||lyricist|
|Gramophone||0B2484||10-in.||12/9/1931||The pied piper of Hamblin||New Mayfair Dance Orchestra ; Ray Noble||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal trio||lyricist|
Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Carter, Desmond," accessed July 24, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/107400.
Carter, Desmond. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved July 24, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/107400.
"Carter, Desmond." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 24 July 2021.
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