Ervin DrakeComposer | 2012
Ervin Drake was born in 1919. His penned American Songbook standards such as “It Was a Very Good Year,” “Tico-Tico”, and “Perdido.” Drake had a major hit in 1945 when he wrote both the words and music for “The Rickety Rickshaw Man,” which sold more than a million copies. Among his best-known songs is “I Believe,” introduced by Jane Froman, which became a Number 1 hit for Frankie Laine in 1953 and holds the record for number of non-consecutive weeks spent at Number 1. As a lyricist, Drake, with composer Irene Higgenbothom, wrote the jazz standard “Good Morning Heartache,” which has been recorded by more than 100 artists, including Diana Ross for the movie Lady Sings the Blues. Besides composing music and lyrics, Drake was also a television producer and worked with performers such as Jackie Gleason and Milton Berle. From 1973 to 1982, Drake was president of the American Guild of Authors and Composers and led the successful campaign for the passage of the U.S. Copyright Law of 1976. He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1983. Drake died at age 95 in 2015.