[Composing is] like fishing. You get a nibble, but you don’t know whether it’s a minnow or a marlin until you reel it in. You write twenty tunes to get two good ones – and the wastebasket yearns for music.
I don’t let a single day pass without writing something…That is a lesson some of today’s so-called songwriters should learn
(Michael Freedland – Jerome Kern: A Biography p.81, p.97, p.141)
Jerome Kern was one of the greatest tunesmiths of the 20th Century. He wrote around 1000 songs. That’s not a typo.
One. Thousand. Songs.
How come he wrote timeless tunes like these?
A Fine Romance
All The Things You Are
Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man
I Won’t Dance
Never Gonna Dance
Ol’ Man River
Pick Yourself Up
Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
The Last Time I Saw Paris
The Way You Look Tonight
Because he wrote hundreds of second rate songs. Here’s a few that haven’t stood the test of time
Abe Lincoln Had Just One
Ain’t It Funny What A Few Drinks Make?
And Russia Is Her Name
Bull Frog Patrol
Bungalow In Quogue
Come Tiny Goldfish To Me
Go Little Boat
How’d You Like To Spoon With Me?
I’d Like To Meet Your Father
I’d Like To Wander With Alice In Wonderland
I’m A Crazy Daffudil (sic)
I’m The Echo, You’re The Song
I’ve A Bungalow In Babylon On Great South Bay
Jockey On The Carousel
Kiss A Four Leaf Clover
Love Is Like A Little Rubber Ball
Mind The Paint
Nesting Time In Flatbush
Paris Is A Paradise For Coons
The Old Clarinet
Tulip Time In Sing Sing
When The Rain Comes Pitter-Patter
Who Cares If My Boat Goes Upstream?
Why Don’t They Dance The Polka Anymore?
Why Take A Sandwich To A Banquet?
You Can’t Make Love By Wireless
Just like the Beatles, he wrote well because he wrote a lot.