July 14, 2011

Bart Howard Provides a Musical Gift

Bart Howard

Bart Howard

The ASCAP Foundation is pleased to announce that composer, lyricist, pianist and ASCAP member Bart Howard (1915-2004) named The ASCAP Foundation as a major beneficiary of all royalties and copyrights from his musical compositions.

In line with this generous bequest, The ASCAP Foundation has established programs designed to ensure the preservation of Bart Howard's name and legacy such as Songwriters: The Next Generation, which showcases the work of emerging songwriters and composers on the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage and The Bart Howard Songwriting Scholarship at Berklee College. Future plans include a cabaret program.

Howard's famous standard, "Fly Me to the Moon (In Other Words)" which was a hit single for Peggy Lee, Frank Sinatra and Joe Harnell, has also been memorably performed by Ella Fitzgerald, Nancy Wilson, Della Reese, Diana Krall, and Rod Stewart, among many others. Other Bart Howard songs include "Let Me Love You," "Don't Dreamof Anybody But Me," "Man in the Looking Glass" and "On The First Warm Day".

Bart Howard (born Howard Joseph Gustafson) left his Iowa home at age 16, to work as the pianist for a touring dance band, later becoming an accompanist in Los Angeles for three years. He joined the Army in 1941. After World War II, Howard became a fixture of New York cabaret life in 1945 when vocalist Mabel Mercer hired him as her accompanist. In 1951 he became the M.C., pianist and director of shows at the Blue Angel in New York where he introduced future stars Eartha Kitt, Johnny Mathis, Dorothy Loudon and others. Bart Howard was honored with the Songwriters Hall of Fame Towering Song Award for his great standard "Fly Me to the Moon (In Other Words)," in 1999.