Irving Kahal

Irving Kahal (March 5, 1903, Houtzdale, Pennsylvania – February 7, 1942, New York City) was a popular American Jewish song lyricist active in the 1920s and 1930s. He is best remembered for his collaborations with composer Sammy Fain which started in 1926 when Kahal was working in vaudeville sketches written by Gus Edwards. Their collaboration lasted 16 years, until Kahal's death in 1942.

Among many fine songs, the stand-out was "You Brought a New Kind of Love to Me" on which Pierre Norman lent a hand, which was sung by Maurice Chevalier in the film The Big Pond (1930) effectively becoming his signature tune, and featured by Frank Sinatra on his magisterial album Songs For Swingin' Lovers.

The Fain/Kahal catalogue also includes "Let a Smile Be Your Umbrella" (1928) with Francis Wheeler, "Wedding Bells Are Breaking Up That Old Gang of Mine" (1929) with Willie Raskin, "By a Waterfall" (1930), "When I Take My Sugar to Tea" (1931) with Pierre Norman, "I Can Dream, Can't I?" (1938) and "I'll Be Seeing You", which was written in 1938, but became a hit in 1943 especially among the families of servicemen sent overseas.

In 1970, Irving Kahal was inducted into the Songwriters' Hall of Fame.

Birth and Death Data: Born March 5th, 1903 (Houtzdale), Died February 7th, 1942

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1925 - 1940

Roles Represented in DAHR: lyricist, songwriter, composer, vocalist, translator

Recordings (Results 251-258 of 258 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Edison N-817 10-in. 3/26/1929 If I give up the saxophone (Will you come back to me?) 7 Blue Babies ; Jack Dalton Male vocal solo, with jazz/dance band lyricist  
Edison N-936 10-in. 6/3/1929 A high silk hat and a walking cane Frankie Marvin Male vocal solo, with guitar lyricist  
Edison N-1009 10-in. 7/9/1929 Don't hang your dreams on a rainbow Waldo Mayo Violin solo, with instrumental ensemble and mixed vocal ensemble lyricist  
Edison N-1052 12-in. 7/29/1929 Sweetheart's holiday The New Yorkers [Edison vocal group] Male vocal quintet, with orchestra lyricist  
Vocalion E3523-E3525 10-in. 7/23/1926 Seville Tuxedo Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo translator  
Vocalion E4290-E4291 10-in. 12/23/1926 If my baby cooks as good as she looks Arthur Brown Male vocal solo, with piano and effects lyricist  
Vocalion E4860-E4862 10-in. 4/27/1927 Baltimore Clarence Williams’ Blue Five Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo lyricist  
Vocalion 1289W-1291W 10-in. 9/2/1925 Valeska The Ambassadors ; Louis Katzman Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo songwriter  
(Results 251-258 of 258 records)


Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Kahal, Irving," accessed February 25, 2021,

Kahal, Irving. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved February 25, 2021, from

"Kahal, Irving." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 25 February 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier



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