Charles Tobias was born in New York City on August 15, 1898. He began his five-decade career as a professional singer for music publishers and toured extensively as a Keith-Albee vaudevillian. He founded his own publishing firm in New York in 1923 and was later joined there by his brothers Henry and Harry Tobias.
Charles Tobias once called himself “The Boy Who Writes the Songs You Sing”, and his catalog is one of the most prolific from Tin Pan Alley. Working with his brothers and other composers and lyricists such as Neil Moret, Nat Simon, Gus Arnheim, Jules Lemare, Anson Weeks, Jack Scholl, Cliff Friend, Don Reid, Sammy Stept, Lew Brown, Roy Turk and Al Sherman, Tobias produced “Merrily We Roll Along”, “Miss You”, “Wonderful World of Christmas”, “Start the Day Right”, “Two Tickets to Georgia”, “When Your Hair Has Turned to Silver”, “Rose O’Day”, “Don’t Sweetheart Me”, “For the First Time”, “Time Waits for No One”, “You Missed the Boat”, “The Broken Record”, “Little Lady Make Believe”, “Somebody Loves You”, “Little Curly Hair in a High Chair”, “Trade Winds”, “We Did it Before and We Can do it Again”, “Prairie Fairy Tale”, “No Can Do”, “What Are You Doing for the Rest of Your Life?”, “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree (With Anyone But Me)”, “Coax Me a Little Bit”, “The Old Lamplighter”, “That’s Where I Came In”, “Comes Love”, “Zing Zing, Zoom Zoom”, “Throw Another Log on the Fire”, “Love Ya”, “Just a Prayer Away”, “As Long as I Live”, “Tomorrow is Forever”, “Would You Believe Me”, “Her Bathing Suit Never Got Wet”, “Get Out and Get Under the Moon”, “As Years Go By”, “What Do We Do on a Dew-Dew-Dewy Day?”, “In the Valley of the Moon”, “All Over the World”, “Those Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer”, “That’s What They Meant by the Good Old Summertime”, “After My Laughter Came Tears”, “Moonlight Brings Memories” and “Faithfully Yours”.
Tobias contributed songs to Broadway shows like Earl Carroll’s Vanities of 1932, Earl Carroll’s Sketch Book, Yokel Boy and Banjo Eyes. He also collaborated with Sammy Fain on the full Broadway score to the long running show Hellzapoppin.
Beginning in 1929 through the 1950’s, Tobias also contributed songs to Hollywood musicals such as So Long Letty, Manhattan Melodrama, Poor Cinderella, Gift of Gab, Dancing on the Moon, You’re a Sweetheart, Start Cheering, Having Wonderful Time, Forty Little Mothers, film version of Yokel Boy, Sweetheart of the Fleet, Chip Off the Old Block, Shine On, Harvest Moon, Hi, Beautiful, Saratoga Trunk, Patrick the Great, Tomorrow is Forever, Twilight on the Rio Grande, Love and Learn, The Daughter of Rosie O’Grady, On Moonlight Bay, About Face and Kathy O.
Charles Tobias died in Manhasset, Long Island, New York, on July 7, 1970.