Literary References

Cy’s Literary References

American Popular Song Cover
American Popular Song Cover

Because Cy’s professional and social life intersected in so many ways with others in New York’s cabaret/café society, it was inevitable that he would be mentioned in various writings that chronicled the time, or, for that matter, the musical genre.  Included here are relevant excerpts from a number of literary works ‑‑ of a most varied nature ‑‑ where some refrence to, or discussion of, Cy appears.

ASCAP Biographical Dictionary
Fourth Edition

An alphabetical listing of all members of the American Society of Composers, Artists and Publishers, with a short listing of their achievements.  Oddly enough, ASCAP has here failed to get both Cy’s date of birth (16 September 1915) and date of death (18 August 1968) right.  The erroneous reference to Cy’s being born in 1925 apparently initially spread beyond this entry to other organizations’ records on Cy, including that of the Library of Congress'; but thanks to the advent of Internet communications, most now know Cy’s correct birth year as 1915.

Alec Wilder: A Bio-Bibliography
by David Demsey and Ronald Prather

A biography of the composer with extensive bibliography, with two separate bibliographic entries for Cy Walter.

Alec Wilder In Spite Of Himself
by Desmond Stone

Biography of the famous composer/songwriter.

American Popular Song
by Alec Wilder

An analysis of the popular song music genre in the first half of the 20th century by the prominent composer and songwriter.  Cy Walter is mentioned in the entry on Cole Porter.

American Singers: 27 Portraits In Song
by Whitney Balliett

The American Music scene, through the famed critic’s portrayal of the careers of 27 singers, amongst which are two dear friends of Cy’s:  Mabel Mercer and Bobby Short.  Excerpts relevant to Cy are included here.

The Big Bands
by George Simon

A catalog of all the big bands, including that of Eddie Lane’s, the one that Cy Walter for which Cy played when his New York career began.

by Bricktop with James Haskins

Autobiography of the famous singer/nightclub hostess. The Three Deuces and Tony’s in pre-war New York nightlife.

Can’t Help Singing
by Eileen Farrell and Brian Kellow

Autobiography of Eileen Farrell, whom Cy accompanied. She also relates of Cy’s accompanying Mabel Mercer.

Classical American Popular Song
by David Jenness and Don Vesley

Analysis of the popular song in America in the last half of the Twentieth Century, with insightful discussion of Cy as a performer and composer.

Do Not Disturb
by Frank Case

Stories of the rich and famous by the Algonquin Hotel’s owner.  Cy Walter plays as Greta Keller sings.

Ghost of a Chance
by Peter Duchin

Autobiography of the musician and son of Eddy Duchin.

Intimate Nights
by James Gavin

History of the New York cabaret scene.

It Might As Well Be Spring
by Margaret Whiting and Will Holt

The autobiography of Margaret Whiting.

Mabel Mercer: A Life
by James Haskins

A biography of Mabel Mercer.

Jazz Improvisation Vol. I
by John Mehegan

Study of the art of jazz.  Cy Walter is listed (along with Thelonious Monk) as a piano “dissident.”

Jazz Improvisation Vol. II
by John Mehegan

Second volume of Mehegan’s study of jazz creativity.

Jazz Improvisation Vol. IV
by John Mehegan

Fourth volume of Mehegan’s study of jazz creativity with accompanying e-mail from Lars Boye Jensen.

The Lion House
by Marjorie Lee

Lurid ’50s novel, telling of the life of rich bohemians.  They attend a performance of Cy Walter’s and Mabel Mercer’s.

Listen To The Stories
by Nat Hentoff

The great jazz critic on musicians and their stories.

Midnight At Mabel’s
by Margaret Cheney

Biography of Mabel Mercer, to coincide with her centennial.  Includes comments from Cam Walter.

Nice Work If You Can Get It
by Michael Feinstein

Autobiography of the noted singer/pianist/historian.

Nothing Whatever To Do
by Elsie and John Masterson

An account of the starting and flourishing of Blueberry Farm.  The authors decide to move to the country in spite of Cy Walter’s music.

Old Sheet Music: A Pictorial History
by Marian Kamlan

A photo album of old sheet music covers.

September In The Rain
Peter J. Levinson

A comprehenisve biography of the the great arranger, Nelson Riddle.

Simon Says
by George T. Simon

A collection of Mr. Simon’s best writing from the pages of Metronome magazine, with a relating of Simon’s happy discovery of Cy’s artistry.

Writing About Your Life
by William Zinsser

The author relates how Cy Walter influenced his piano technique.