Frances Landesman

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Frances Landesman (Deitsch)

Also Known As: "Fran Landesman"
Birthdate: (84)
Death: July 23, 2011 (84)
City of London, Greater London, UK
Immediate Family:

Wife of Jay Landesman
Mother of Private and Private
Sister of Sam Deitsch

Managed by: Hatte Blejer
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Frances Landesman

"Fran Landesman, a songwriter and poet who wrote the words to the jazz standard "Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most," died July 23. She was 83.

Landesman, whose other songs included "Ballad of the Sad Young Men" and "Small Day Tomorrow," was part of a circle of beat writers and jazz musicians when she started writing songs in the early 1950s. In 1988, she joined Fresh Air's Terry Gross for a conversation about many of her playful lyrics."

Born Frances Deitsch in New York City, her father was a dress manufacturer, her mother was a journalist. Her brother Sam Deitsch went on to open and run bars in St Louis before establishing, with partner Ed Moose, The Washington Square Bar and Grill in San Francisco.

She attended private schools, and later Temple University and the Fashion Institute of Technology, in whose fashion industry she initially worked. While in New York she met writer Jay Landesman, the publisher of the short-lived Neurotica magazine, whom she married on July 15, 1950. They had two sons, Cosmo Landesman and Miles Davis Landesman. Producer Rocco Landesman is their nephew.


Source for below is Mike's Movie Projector blog

"One has to mark the passing of a true original: Fran Landesman, songwriter, poet and performer [1927-2011], was born in New York and after success in America (where she was part of the beat scene) moved to London in the '60s with her husband Jay Landesman, where they became part of the bohemian set. I have several little volumes of her poems, and those wonderful lyrics like "Ballad of the Sad Young Men" (which Roberta Flack covered on her first album, and has also been recorded by Shirley Bassey), which like Billy Strayhorn's "Lush Life" is an anthem to the louche gay life, one of the well-known songs she wrote for jazz artists."

"Other witty poems include well known items like "Is The Common Man Too Common?", "Invade My Privacy", "The Decline of the West" ["All the good tunes have been written, all the good songs have been sung..."], "After We've Gone" ["Who will live in our house, after we've gone..."], and that lovely poem about "Bogie" ["With his five o'clock shadow and his heart of pure gold he will always be Bogie and he will never grow old. She's a girl whose in trouble, all her nights are like years, she wears dresses of satin, and a necklace of tears. She was Ida or Ingrid until along came Bacall but he's always been Bogie and he's the king of them all"]."

"Like Dory Previn, Fran has been described as the poet laureate of the desperate and decadent! No one can convey the bitter-sweet joys of melancholy or the exhilaration of living on the edge quite like her. She took to performing in her later years and, like Mose Allison and George Melly, was an established artist on the jazz circuit. On "Desert Island Discs" she famously requested cannabis seeds as her essential luxury! - yes, one can grow old disgracefully ... Her husband died earlier this year; their son Cosmo is film reviewer for The Sunday Times."

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Frances Landesman's Timeline

July 23, 2011
Age 84
City of London, Greater London, UK