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Jay Gorney

Jay Gorney died in 1990, was the composer of popular songs for theatre, movies and television. He also produced films, wrote motion picture scripts, and was a distinguished teacher of musical theatre. In addition to "Brother," some of his songs include "You're My Thrill" from JIMMY AND SALLY, "Baby, Take a Bow" for Shirley Temple in STAND UP AND CHEER, and "What Wouldn't I Do For That Man? " for Helen Morgan in APPLAUSE.

Unfortunately, his thriving career was brought to a halt in 1953 when he appeared before the House Un-American Activities Committee. He was blacklisted thereafter.

Jay Gorney


"Brother" is Jay's biography from birth to death, including all phases of his career and life.

It is also an intimate memoir of our 45-plus years together as lovers, spouses, parents, grandparents - and theatrical co-producers (we produced the revues MEET THE PEOPLE and ON THE WING). Our wonderful family is spotlighted also, including our well-known daughter Karen Lynn Gorney. Throughout the document, Jay's decency, integrity and warmth shine through. The book is a tribute to this prolific and respected composer whose humanity, kindness and courage triumphed over adversity.


"Jay Gorney was an exceptionally talented theatre composer and a wonderful human being. Jay's quintessential music to "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?" (the anthem of the Great Depression) inspired my father, Yip, to write as great a lyric. This book illuminates Jay's life and work." - Ernie Harburg, co-author of Who Put the Rainbow in The Wizard of Oz? - Yip Harburg, Lyricist

"Jay lived in a life centered around art and ideals and his story is one that needs to be told. This book is wonderful!" - Michael Feinstein, Musician and first recipient of the ASCAP American Songbook Award

"I was privileged to know Jay Gorney and admire him personally, long before I read this unusually thoughtful biography that reflects on his richly varied career on Broadway and in Hollywood - as an important composer and songwriter as well as film producer. The author brings all the intimacy of her close relationship with the subject into this faceted portrait of a man whose decency always illuminated his work and whose integrity helped him to triumph over the blacklist." - Patrick McGilligan, Author of the Edgar-nominated biography Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness and Light

"Jay Gorney gave America 'Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?' and was blacklisted for his troubles. The depression, the blacklist, show business - it's all here in Sondra Gorney's loving Valentine to her late husband." - Victor Navasky, Publisher and Editorial Director, The Nation

Read the article regarding Finally, A Tribute to Jay Gorney at New York Music Sheet Society

New York Music Sheet Society
Read and listen to a segment on NRP (National Public Radio) about Jay Gorney

National Public Radio Interview
Read Sam Teicher's Review

Samt Teicher's Review

The City University of New York graduate center on Fifth Avenue and 34th St. in New York City had a visual exhibit about professors at their colleges that were fired during the Blacklist period. It included two panels about Jay, who had been fired from an evening course he gave on "Writing for Musical Theatre" at Hunter College. Following are the two panels, click on the pictures to read them:

Jay Gorney Panel Jay Gorney Panel


You can purchase the book online at Amazon

To view images of Jay's work and other photos of interest, visit the Photo Gallery.