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Biography

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Overview (4)

Born in New York City, New York, USA
Died in New York City, New York, USA  (stroke)
Birth NameJoseph Deems Taylor
Nickname Smeed

Mini Bio (1)

Deems Taylor was born on December 22, 1885 in New York City, New York, USA as Joseph Deems Taylor. He was an actor and writer, known for Fantasia (1940), Of Men and Music (1951) and Information Please: Series 1, No. 10 (1940). He died on July 3, 1966 in New York City.

Trivia (5)

Composer of the first opera by an American composer to be broadcast on radio, "The King's Henchman," with a libretto by Edna St. Vincent Millay. Originally broadcast from a New York studio, the work later briefly entered the repertoire of the Metropolitan Opera, where Lawrence Tibbett scored one of his first major successes as the baritone lead.
Served, with Milton Cross, as co-commentator during the first season of Metropolitan Opera broadcasts (NBC: 1931-1932). Commenting on the action while the opera was in progress, much as if it were a sporting event, he was relieved of his duties when many listeners complained that "some idiot keeps talking," disrupting the music. After that, commentary on the broadcasts, which continue today, was confined to before the opera and between the acts.
One of the best-known musical figures of the first half of the 20th century, Deems Taylor was a composer, radio commentator, author, and educator. Today, he is probably best known at the host/narrator of Disney's film classic "Fantasia".
His daughter Joan was born in December, 1926.

Personal Quotes (1)

[on 'Rhapsody in Blue', 1924] Mr. Gershwin will bear watching. He may yet bring jazz out of the kitchen.

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