Jacob Gade

composer
1879
1963
Jacob Gade's Tango Jalousy is the best known piece of music written by any Dane. As late as the 1970s someone on the planet played Tango Jalousy once every minute, only the Beatles' Yesterday could match its success. Jacob Gade (who was no relation of Niels W. Gade) began his career like many other Danish composers of his period as a country dance fiddler. He never had any formal training, but around the turn of the century was very successful as a bandleader and 'Stehgeiger' (standing lead violinist) at Copenhagen restaurants and theatres. His many light compositions, salon music ad well as revue songs, made him one of the most popular entertainment composers in the city. In 1921 he became leader of the big orchestra at the Palads Cinema in Copenhagen. It was as accompaniment to a silent film that he wrote his Tango Jalousy. When the silent film yielded place around 1931 to the 'talking' film with its own music, Jacob Gade ended his career as a performing musician. He moved back to the countryside, lived on the ample royalties from his entertainment music, and took the time to work with more ambitious orchestral pieces.