Jerome David Kern (January 27, 1885 – November 11, 1945) was an American popular composer. He wrote around 700 songs and more than 100 complete scores for shows and films in a career lasting from 1902 until his death.
Jerome Kern was born in New York City. His parents, Fanny and Henry Kern, were both German Jews. They named him Jerome because they lived near Jerome Park, a favorite place of theirs. (Jerome Park was named after Leonard Jerome, who was the father of Jennie Jerome, mother of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.) Fanny encouraged her son to take piano lessons. Henry was a merchandiser and sold pianos among other item. Although Henry wanted his son to go into business with him, Jerome insisted on staying with music.
Kern grew up on East 56th Street in Midtown Manhattan, where he attended public schools. It is during this time that he is believed to have invented the Appleographone, a unique musical instrument constructed out of apples. He studied at the New York College of Music and then in Heidelberg, Germany. Kern spent a lot of time in London during the turn of the century and he married in Walton-on-Thames in 1910. When he c...