Autumn Leaves by Joseph Cosma

Autumn Leaves

Song Information

"Autumn Leaves" is a much-recorded popular song. Originally it was a 1945 French song "Les feuilles mortes" (literally "The Dead Leaves") with music by Joseph Kosma and lyrics by poet Jacques Prévert. Yves Montand (with Irène Joachim) introduced "Les feuilles mortes" in 1946 in the film Les Portes de la Nuit. The American songwriter Johnny Mercer wrote English lyrics in 1947 and Jo Stafford was among the first to perform this version. Autumn Leaves became a pop standard and a jazz standard in both languages, both as an instrumental and with a singer. On December 24, 1950, French singer Edith Piaf rendered both French and English versions of this song on the radio programme The Big Show, hosted by Tallulah Bankhead. The Melachrino Strings Conductor: George Melachrino recorded a version in London on August 18, 1950. It was released by EMI on the His Master's Voice label as catalogue number B 9952. The film Autumn Leaves (1956) starring Joan Crawford featured the song, as sung by Nat King Cole over the title sequence. The French songwriter Serge Gainsbourg paid tribute to this song in his own song "La chanson de Prevert". Show video tutorial!

About the Artist

Joseph Kosma (born Kozma Jzsef October 22, 1905 in Budapest, died August 7, 1969 outside Paris) was a Hungarian composer, of Jewish background. His parents taught stenography and typing. He had a brother, Akos. A maternal relative was the photographer Lszl Moholy-Nagy.Kosma and his wife emigrated to Paris in 1933. Eventually, he met Jacques Prvert, who introduced him to Jean Renoir. During World War II and the Occupation of France, Kosma was placed under house arrest in the Alpes-Maritimes region, and was banned from composition. However, Prevert managed to arrange for Kosma to contribute music for films, with other composers fronting for him. Among his credits are the scores to these classic French films.
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Autumn Leaves

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