Monday, February 6, 2017

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: February 6, 1888 – James Haven Lamont Gillespie

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From The Kentucky Encyclopedia –
James Haven Lamont Gillespie, songwriter, was born in Covington, Kentucky, on February 6, 1888, the son of William F. and Anna (Reilly) Gillespie. Haven Gillespie, as he was known, worked as a printer for newspapers including the Cincinnati Times-Star and the New York Times. Even after he became a successful songwriter, he kept his membership active in the printer's union. Gillespie wrote more than a thousand popular songs including " Violet Blue" (1912), " Drifting and Dreaming" (1925), " Breezin' Along with the Breeze" (1926), " Santa Claus is Coming to Town" (1934), " Lucky Old Sun" (1949), and " I Love to Dream" (1972). His songs have been hits for such stars as Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Rudy Vallee, the Andrews Sisters, Tony Bennett, and George Strait. Gillespie's chief collaborator was composer J. Fred Coots; he also worked with Richard Whiting, Larry Shay, and Beasley Smith. Gillespie received a Freedoms Foundation award in 1950 for " God's Country" (1950) and an ASCAP award for country music in 1985 for " Right or Wrong" (1921). Gillespie, a reformed alcoholic, was a strong supporter of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Gillespie married Corene Parker on March 1, 1909, in Covington; they had one son, Haven Lamont. Corene died in 1958. Gillespie then married Josephine Kruempleman. They were divorced in 1970. Gillespie died in Las Vegas on March 14, 1975, and was buried there.

CHARLES D. KING, Entry Author

Source from UK Libraries:

First, William E. Drifting and Dreaming : The Story of Songwriter Haven Gillespie. 1st ed. St. Petersburg, Fla.: Seaside Pub., 1998. Print.
ML423.G55 F57 1998, Special Collections Research Center - Room 019

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