'The World Is Waiting for the Sunrise'
'The World Is Waiting for the Sunrise'. Popular ballad with lyrics by Gene Lockhart and music (Toronto 1918) by the concert pianist Ernest Seitz, who had conceived the refrain when he was 12. Embarrassed about writing popular music, Seitz used the pseudonym Raymond Roberts when the song was first published by Chappell in 1919.
More than 100 versions have been recorded. Initially, when the song's hopeful sentiment appealed to post-war North America, it was recorded by both singers and instrumentalists, including Morton Downey, Fritz Kreisler, Ted Lewis, and John Steel. Later, as a popular vehicle for improvisation, it was recorded by many jazz musicians, among them Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Mel Powell, Jess Stacy, and Jack Teagarden. A version made for Capitol in 1949 by guitarists Les Paul and Mary Ford was a million-seller. Canadian jazz musicians to record the song include Bert Niosi (1946), Peter Appleyard (1957), Ed Bickert (1979), and Oscar Peterson (1980).
The song's lyricist, Lockhart (b London, Ont, 1891, d Santa Monica, Cal, 1957), at the time an actor with the travelling Pierrot Players, had a successful career on Broadway and later in Hollywood. He wrote and directed the Broadway musical revue Bunk of 1926.