John La Touche

Writer from United States of America

John Treville Latouche (La Touche) (November 13, 1914, Baltimore, Maryland – August 7, 1956, Calais, Vermont) was a musician and writer. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Latouche's family moved to Richmond, Virginia when he was four months old. Much of his work included Rabelaisian humor and was therefore often censored or protested against. He attended Columbia University but never graduated. In 1937 he had two songs in the revue Pins and Needles. In 1939 for the show Sing For Your Supper he wrote the lyrics for "Ballad for Uncle Sam", later retitled "Ballad for Americans", with music by Earl Robinson. It was featured at both the 1939 Republican Convention and the convention of the American Communist Party, and was extremely popular in 1940s America. This 13-minute cantata to American democracy was written for a soloist and as well a full orchestra. When performed on the CBS Radio network by singer Paul Robeson, it became a national success. Subsequently, both Robeson and Bing Crosby regularly performed it. Actor and singer Brock Peters also made a notable recording of the cantata. He provided the lyrics for Vernon Duke's songs (including, with Ted Fetter, "Taking A Chance On Love")  ( Wikipedia article )


Personal facts

Date of birth
United States of America
Songwriter, Writer


Institution From To
Columbia University


Date of death
Cause of death
Myocardial infarction

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