James ThorntonPerry Como

When You Were Sweet Sixteen

James Thornton ( 1861 ~ 1938 )

Lyricist and composer James Thornton was born Dec. 5. 1861, in Liverpool, England, and died July 27, 1938, in New York City. Little information is available on Thornton's early life. In 1869, his family emigrated and settled in Boston. Thornton apparently did not finish high school, but started working.

1898 "When You Were Sweet Sixteen", became his greatest hit. His wife had asked him if he still loved her, and his reply was "I love you as I did when you were sweet sixteen". Thornton sold this song to two music publishers; Stern and Marks, and Witmark Music Publishing. When the song became a smash hit, Stern and Marks sued Witmark, and were able to prove that they had paid Thornton $15.00 for the song. An agreement was reached, and Witmark paid Stern and Marks $5000.00. The song remains popular to this day.

James Thornton died in 1938, at age 77.

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Friday, December 09, 2011