Mrs Oscar Hammerstein, so the story goes, once overheard someone praise “Ol’ Man River” as “a great Kern song”. “I beg your pardon,” she said, “But Jerome Kern did not write ‘Ol’ Man River’. Mr Kern wrote ‘dum dum dum da’; my husband wrote ‘Ol’ Man River’.

Philip Furia, “The Poets of Tin Pan Alley”.

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