American character actor primarily of Western "sidekick" roles. Born John Forest Knight in Fairmont, West Virginia, Knight joined a traveling minstrel show as a musician at age 15. He attended The University of West Virginia as a law student, supporting himself as the drummer in his own band. Finding music more rewarding, he left school and played on the vaudeville and cabaret circuits. He appeared in Earl Carroll's Vanities of 1927 and on Broadway as a musical performer in "Here's Howe" and "Ned Wayburn's Gambols." He also played drums for the Irving Aaronson and George Olsen big bands. According to Knight's "Variety" obituary, he appeared in a number of short films for MGM and Paramount from 1928 to 1931, though the titles of these films are apparently unknown. Mae West saw Knight in vaudeville and championed him for her film She Done Him Wrong and gave him his first substantive film role. His comic style and the soft voice which had given him his nickname stood him in good stead in movies, and he appeared in nearly 200 films over the next thirty years. His singing was a memorable part of the films The Trail of the Lonesome Pine and The Shepherd of the Hills, but it was as a Western sidekick that he gained his greatest fame. He played the comic pal of Johnny Mack Brown and other cowboy heroes in scores of Westerns, and was listed among the Top Ten Money-Making Western Stars in 1940. In the 1950s, he gained new audiences with his sidekick role on Buster Crabbe's TV series Captain Gallant of the Foreign Legion. He retired in 1960, but continued to make occasional appearances. He died in his sleep at the Motion Picture Country Home and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California at 74, survived by his wife, actress Patricia Ryan (née Thelma de Long). He is buried in an unmarked grave next to the grave of comedian Max 'Slapsie Maxie' Rosenbloom at Valhalla Memorial Park in Burbank, California.
Prolific American lyricist and songwriter, one of the giants of Tin Pan Alley. He contributed numerous popular standards to jazz and to the big band scene. His catalogue includes such titles as "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You" (theme song for bandleader Tommy Dorsey), the ballad "I Don't Stand a Ghost of a Chance With You", the 1940 Oscar-winner "When You Wish Upon a Star" (from Pinocchio), "The Nearness of You" (made popular by Glenn Miller), "Stella By Starlight", "Green Dolphin Street", "La Cucaracha" and the western classics "Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darlin" (Oscar-winner for High Noon and the "Rawhide" theme.
Washington had his roots in vaudeville as a master of ceremonies. Having joined ASCAP in 1930, he started his songwriting career with Earl Carroll's Vanities on Broadway in the late 1920's. In 1934, he was signed by MGM and relocated to Hollywood, eventually writing full scores for feature films. During the 40's, he worked for a number of studios, including Paramount, Warner Brothers, Disney and Republic. During these tenures, he collaborated with many of the great composers of the era, including Hoagy Carmichael, Victor Young, Max Steiner and Dimitri Tiomkin.
Al Sherman was born into a musical family on 7 September 1897 in Czarist Russia. Father Samuel Sherman fled a Cossack pogrom in 1903, settling in Prague which was then part of Austria-Hungary. Luck turned for Samuel and he landed a job as concertmaster, first violinist and sometimes court composer in the Royal Court of Emperor Franz Josef. Within a short time, Samuel was able to send for his family to live with him in Prague.
As a young boy, Al would stand in the wings to hear his father play for the Bohemian Emperor, thus sparking the young boy's love of music. Once, when Al was about six years old, the Emperor sent guards to find out who was rustling around behind the curtains. He then asked the frightened youngster (Al) to sit on his knee for the duration of the concert.
In 1909 Samuel decided to take his family to America, but in America Samuel's luck turned again, this time for the worse. In New York City, Samuel was just another out-of-work musician. The pressure became too much for Samuel and he eventually left his wife Lena and their five children, Olga, Al, Edith, Regina and new born baby Harold.
At age thirteen, Al became the "man" of the family and quit school to work. Nevertheless, Al had a very "accepting" attitude and kept in close contact with Samuel until Samuel's death in 1947. Because the American music scene had been so disillusioning for Samuel, the last thing that Samuel wanted his young son, Al, to do was to become a musician. But Al had a burning desire to do just that. Al taught himself piano learning from the "Beyers Book for Beginners".
Despite Al's youth and scant knowledge of English, his natural talent for piano improvisation soon earned him a reputation as a top "Mood Music" pianist. His services to improvise inspirational music were sought by many silent film stars including Pauline Frederick, Mae Murray and Olga Petrova. In 1916, Universal signed Al to do bit parts in silent films as well. He later appeared in motion pictures with Mary Pickford, Mary Fuller, Clara Kimball Young and William Powell.
Al's composing career began in 1918 when he became a staff pianist for the Remick Music Company. There, he worked alongside George Gershwin and Vincent Youmans. During this time, Al also organized and directed a small orchestra which played both in New York and Miami Beach, Florida.
In the summer of 1921, Al was at the piano leading his orchestra when he met a beautiful green-eyed actress named Rosa (pronounced "Rose") Dancis. The couple was married in 1923.
Al and Rosa's older son, Robert Bernard Sherman was born on 19 December 1925. Their younger son, Richard Morton Sherman was born on 12 June 1928. Both boys were born in New York City. "The Sherman Brothers" would one day prove to be Al's greatest songwriting achievement, forming one of the most formidable songwriting teams in family entertainment to date (Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang).
In the 1920s, 30s and 40s, Al collaborated with songwriters including Sam Coslow, Irving Mills, Charles O'Flynn, Al Dubin, Pat Flaherty, 'B.G. deSylva', Harold Tobias, Howard Johnson, Harry M. Woods, Al Bryan, Buddy Fields, Archie Fletcher, Al Lewis, Abner Silver, Edward Heyman and many others. Al quickly rose to become one of "Tin Pan Alley's" most sought after songwriters.
Between 1931 and 1934, during the last days of Vaudeville, Al and several of his fellow hitmakers formed a sensational review called "Songwriters On Parade", performing all across the Eastern seaboard on the Loew's and Keith circuits.
Some of Al Sherman's most well known songs also include, "Save Your Sorrow", "Lindbergh (The Eagle Of The U.S.A.)", "Pretending", On the Beach at Bali-Bali", "Over Somebody Else's Shoulder", "For Sentimental Reasons" and "Ninety-Nine Out of a Hundred (Want To Be Kissed)".
Maurice Chevalier's American breakthrough hit was an Al Sherman/Al Lewis song entitled "Livin' In the Sunlight - Lovin' in the Moonlight" from the Paramount Picture The Big Pond. "You've Gotta Be A Football Hero" has been played, sung and marched to since 1933 when Fred Waring and his Pennsylvanians introduced it on the radio. More than just a hit of its day, "Football Hero" became a part of the fabric of the American sports scene.
The Sherman/Fletcher song "On A Little Bamboo Bridge" became a hit for Louis Armstrong. Artists who recorded Al Sherman songs include Benny Goodman, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Tommy Dorsey, Frank Sinatra, Al Jolson, Bing Crosby, Eddie Cantor, Rudy Vallee, Ozzie Nelson, Lawrence Welk, Peggy Lee, Patti Page, Duke Ellington and his Cotton Club Orchestra, among many others.
Some of his most memorable songs include songs for major Broadway revues, including the "Ziegfeld Follies", "George White's Scandals", "The Passing Show" and "Earl Carroll's Vanities".
His romantic style and favored settings are suggested by such song titles as "Got the Bench, Got the Park", "Woodland Reverie", "Never a Dream Goes By" and "When You Waltz With the One You Love".
Although he would continue to write songs and musical compositions until his death, Al wrote his last big song in 1952. It was entitled: "Comes Along A Love" and was sung by Kay Starr.
In 1973, the Associated Press wrote, "Al Sherman helped raise the spirits of a Depression-era generation with his hit "Potatoes Are Cheaper - Tomatoes Are Cheaper - Now's the Time To Fall In Love!". Al wrote more than five hundred songs but gained his greatest fame for that happy tune". Always capable of finding the "silver lining", "Potatoes Are Cheaper" became Al's signature song. In 1973, he wrote his autobiography entitling it, "Potatoes Are Cheaper" for this reason.
On 16 September 1973, Al Sherman died in Los Angeles, California. He was 76 years old.
Showman Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. once billed her as "the most beautiful girl in the world". Burlesque dancer Faith Bacon, and not the much better known Sally Rand who worked for Bacon in the early 1930s, is genuinely considered the lady who originated the "fan dance" during "The Jazz Age".
The Los Angeles-born dancer was born Frances Yvonne Bacon on July 19, 1910. Her career began on the Paris stage (she had no formal dance training) in one of Maurice Chevalier's popular revue shows. She returned to the States, specifically the East Coast, where the fetching 18-year-old wavy blonde won a chorine spot for "Earl Carroll's Vanities of 1928" and returned for his 1930 show. It was she who suggested to Carroll to allow her to undress all the way during the show (save some teasing ostrich features and a smoky spotlight) and, thus, introducing the art of the fan dance. Other shows also included "Fioretta" 1929, "Earl Carroll's Sketch Book of 1929," "Earl Carrol''s Sketch Book of 1930" and the Ziegfeld Follies of 1931".
Elsewhere, Faith took her scantily-clad act to the Chicago World's Fair in the mid 1930s where Sally Rand, now infamous for her own fan dance act, also performed, and the two rivals "competed" with their respective shows. At a 1936 performance at the Chicago State-Lake Theatre, Faith crashed through the glass box she was performing in during the show. Covered in blood, she collapsed then and there and spent a month in the hospital. The accident left her with deep, ugly scars on her legs. It was this terrible misfortune that triggered Bacon's slow but firm decline.
Although film work included Prison Train, The Dance of Shame and A Lady with the Fans (both 1942), she was dismissed as a controversial specialty act and it didn't lead to film acting. Her later engagements digressed in quality -- carnivals, dives and strip joints. In 1940 she had to have major surgery for a glandular problem, and for the rest of the decade illnesses continued to plague her, leaving her drained physically and financially. Depression so engulfed her that she attempted suicide with an overdose of pills in 1954. Although the struggling entertainer survived that attempt, she succeeded two years later when on September 27, 1956, she threw herself out of a third-story Chicago hotel window. She died later that night of a fractured skull and perforated lung.
Producer, director, composer, songwriter and composer; Earl Carroll was part Billy Rose, a little Busby Berkeley and part Michael Todd. He was a staff writer for a New York publishing company between 1912 and 1917, then served in the US Army Air Force during World War I. He produced and directed the Broadway musicals "Earl Carroll Vanities" (11 editions), "Earl Carroll Sketch Book" (two editions), "Murder at the Vanities" (for which he was co-librettist), and the infamous $350,000 flop, "Fioretta" (for which he was the librettist). He built two Earl Carroll Theatres in New York, in 1923 and 1931, and also the lavish Earl Carroll Restaurant in Hollywood in 1939. He produced films, and wrote he Broadway stage scores for "So Long, Letty", "Canary Cottage", "The Love Mill" (also librettist), and "Earl Carroll Vanities" in 1923 and 1924. He was a charter member of ASCAP in 1914, and composed the popular songs "Isle d'Amour", "So Long, Letty", "One Look at You", "Dreams of Long Ago", "Give Me All of You", "While We Dance", "Just The Way You Are", "I Never Knew" and "Dreaming".
Voluptuous Beryl Wallace was born in Brooklyn, New York, the eldest of nine children of working class Austrian-Jewish émigrés. With her knockout looks and obvious shapeliness, the "Big Apple" beauty naturally gravitated toward an entertainment career and first turned to dancing. She was only a teenager when, acting on a casting call ad, earned a role in the "Earl Carroll Vanities" of 1928. Carroll changed her marquee name to "Beryl Wallace" and off she went to appear in other provocative shows that featured flesh and fantasy themes, some even requiring frontal nudity. Outside of Carroll's Vanities of 1930, 1931, 1932, 1935 and 1940, Beryl also appeared on Broadway in the musical comedy "Treasure Girl" (1928), Carroll's "Murder at the Vanities" (1932) and "The Women" (1936), in which she had a small part as a model.
The pencil-browed brunet and producer/mogul Earl Carroll, who was at least 16 years her senior, began to engage in a personal relationship as well as professional. In Hollywood he had her headlining his shows at the Earl Carroll Theatre and Restaurant on Sunset Boulevard. From there she made her movie debut in a film adaptation of Carroll's Broadway play Murder at the Vanities, and then went on to appear in a number of small roles until co-starring with western star Tom Keene in the Monogram programmer Romance of the Rockies. She went on to perform in nearly two dozen "B" films, mostly action adventures or westerns, opposite a number of good-looking leading men including Kermit Maynard in Rough Riding Rhythm, Larry J. Blake and Dick Purcell, who fought over her in Air Devils, Roy Rogers in Sunset on the Desert, and Richard Dix in The Kansan. Her last films, in which she was again reduced to secondary femmes, were in The Woman of the Town and Enemy of Women. Most of her other films, to her detriment, had the gorgeous gal serving as mere set decoration and in unbilled parts.
Throughout her minor film reign, she remained a star attraction at Earl Carroll's spectacular musical reviews. During World War II, sexy Beryl did her part by singing and hosting on radio shows. She also entertained soldiers at the Masquers Club and danced at the Hollywood Canteen. The fact that her film career did not amount to too much did not have her overly concerned. She WAS a star -- in Earl Carroll's extravaganzas.
In 1948, Carroll was in the final planning stages of opening a larger theater just one block from his current location. The new one would rival New York's Radio City Music Hall and cost upwards of $15,000,000. On June 17, 1948, while en route from Los Angeles to New York City, both Beryl and Earl perished in the crash of United Airlines Flight 624 at Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania. Forced to make an emergency landing, the plane crashed into a 66,000 volt transformer on its quick descent and exploded. According to Carroll's wishes in his will, their ashes were interred together in the Garden of Memory at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California. On top of their crypt lies a huge facsimile of Carroll's own hands holding a life-sized figure symbolizing the impossibly beautiful Beryl.
Prolific composer and author, educated at the University of Kansas, and at Harvard University, where he wrote 'Hasty Pudding' shows. His Broadway stage scores include: "Smiles"; "Earl Carroll's Vanities" (1931); "Banjo Eyes"; and "As The Girls Go". For Jones Beach: "Around The World In Eighty Days". He came to Hollywood in 1933, writing many film songs and themes. His chief musical collaborators included Hoagy Carmichael, Lou Alter, Peter DeRose, Walter Donaldson, Vernon Duke, Duke Ellington, Burton Lane, Jimmy McHugh, Vincent Youmans, and Victor Young. His songs include: "Time On My Hands"; "Sittin' In The Dark"; "Tony's Wife"; "Like Me A Little Bit Less (Love Me A Little Bit More)"; "Everything I Have Is Yours"; "Heigh-Ho, the Gang's All Here"; "Your Head On My Shoulder"; "Everything's Been Done Before"; "It's Been So Long"; "You"; "You Never Looked So Beautiful Before"; "Did I Remember?"; "There's Something In The Air"; "With A Banjo On My Knee"; "Where Are You?"; "You're A Sweetheart"; "You're As Pretty As A Picture"; "It's A Wonderful World"; "The Thrill Of A New Romance"; "720 In The Books"; "We're Having A Baby"; "The Music Stopped"; "I Couldn't Sleep A Wink Last Night"; "A Lovely Way To Spend An Evening"; "Comin' In On A Wing And A Prayer"; "How Blue The Night"; "A Hubba Hubba Hubba"; "As The Girls Go"; "I Got Lucky In the Rain"; "It's A Most Unusual Day"; "When Love Goes Wrong"; "You Say The Nicest Things, Baby"; "My Resistance is Low;" "Around The World"; "An Affair to Remember"; "Ferryboat Serenade"; and "Too Young To Go Steady".
Composer, songwriter ("That Old Devil Moon") and author, educated at the High School of Commerce and Dwight Academy, and a private music student of Simon Bucharoff. At fifteen, he was a staff writer for the Remick Music Company. He wrote the Broadway stage scores for "Earl Carroll Vanities of 1931", "Hold On to Your Hats", "Laffing Room Only", "Finian's Rainbow", and "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever" (Grammy Award, 1965). He wrote songs for "Three's a Crowd" and "Third Little Show", and was president of the AGAC since 1957. Joining ASCAP in 1933, his chief musical collaborators included Harold Adamson, Ralph Freed, Ted Koehler, Al Dubin, E.Y. Harburg, Frank Loesser, Alan Jay Lerner, and Ira Gershwin. His other popular-song compositions include "Tony's Wife", "Heigh Ho, the Gang's All Here", "Look Who's Here", "Everything I Have Is Yours", "Have a Heart", "I Want a New Romance", "Swing High, Swing Low", "Stop, You're Breaking My Heart", "Madame, I Love Your Crepes Suzette", "Howdja Like to Love Me?", "Moments Like This", "The Lady's In Love With You", "Says My Heart", "Smarty", "Would You Be So Kindly?", "There's A Great Day Coming Manana", "Don't Let It Get You Down", "The World Is in My Arms", "I Hear Music", "How About You?", "Feudin' and Fightin'", "How Are Things in Glocca Morra?", "The Begat", "If This Isn't Love", "Look to the Rainbow", "Something Sort of Grandish", "When I'm Not Near the Girl I Love", "Too Late Now", "You're All the World to Me", "I Left My Hat in Haiti", "Open Your Eyes", "How Could You Believe Me?", "It Happens Every Time", "Applause Applause", "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever", "Come Back to Me", "Melinda", and many more.
Composer, songwriter ("Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?"), producer, author and teacher. He arrived in the USA in 1906 and was educated at the University of Michigan (BA, LL.B)) and was also a music student of Earl Moore. He composed five Michigan Union musicals, and became a United States Navy bandmaster during World War II. His Broadway stage scores include "Top Hole", "Vogues of 1924", "Merry-Go-Round", "Earl Carroll's Sketch Book", "Earl Carroll's Vanities of 1930", "Meet the People" (which he also co-produced), "Heaven on Earth", and "Touch and Go"; and he wrote songs for "Greenwich Village Follies (1924), "Artists and Models", and "Americana". Between 1929 and 1930, he headed the Paramount Studios music department in Astoria, New York, then came to Hollywood in 1933, under contract to 20th Century-Fox. Between 1942 and 1943, he produced films for Columbia and, by 1948, was chairman of the musical-play department of the Dramatic Workshop at the New School in New York, which continued into 1951. The following year, he joined the faculty of the American Theatre Wing, and began producing, directing and writing television programs. His awards include a Tony (1962) from the American Theatre Wing, and a Yale Drama School citation. Joining ASCAP in 1925, his chief musical collaborators included E.Y. Harburg, Henry Myers, Edward Eliscu, Lew Brown, Sidney Clare, Howard Dietz, Walter Kerr and Jean Kerr. His other popular-song compositions included "Kinda Cute", "Hogan's Alley", "You're My Thrill", "I've Got You On Top of My List", "Baby, Take a Bow", "A Girl in Your Arms", "Meet the People", "The Stars Remain", A Fellow and a Girl", "This Had Better Be Love", "It Will Be All Right", "He Was a Gentleman", "What Wouldn't I Do for That Man?", "Ah, But Is It Love?", "I Found a Dream", "Ting-a-ling-a-ling", "The Bill of Rights" and "In Chi-Chi-Castenango".
Nadine Dana Suesse (pronounced Sweese) was born into a lively era in music and entertainment in Kansas City, Missouri on December 3, 1909. When Dana grew too tall for ballet, piano lessons were begun with Kansas City teacher Gertrude Concannon. Her first concert was in Drexel Hall, Kansas City on June 29, 1919. The seeds of orchestration may have been planted during her year of organ studies with Hans Feil, who presented Dana in an organ recital on December 17, 1922. Dana had an affinity with the southern side of her family (as a child she visited them regularly) and frequently volunteered Shreveport, Louisiana, as her birthplace (she told one interviewer it was Alabama). Furthermore, while she declared she detested the life of a child prodigy, all through her early career she subtracted a couple of years from her real age. In 1926, Dana and her mother traveled to New York to advance her studies with the great pedagogue Alexander Siloti (at that time one of the four surviving pupils of Franz Liszt), and Rubin Goldmark, a former teacher of George Gershwin. In New York, Dana began experimenting with the jazz idiom. She told an interviewer, "I just kept my ears open and began to understand that there was something very interesting called jazz and popular music. This was an unknown territory to me...I compromised and used my classical training to make a bridge between [classical] and what was new to me." Her composition Syncopated Love Song bridged this gap between "serious" and "jazz" forms. Written in 1928, it wasn't popularized until Nathaniel Shilkret recorded it in 1929. Leo Robin created a lyric, and it soon became the hit song "Have You Forgotten." She was teamed with lyricist Edward Heyman, and wrote two more hits, "Ho Hum" and "My Silent Love." Paul Whiteman, the most famous orchestra leader in the world, was planning another "Experiment In Modern Music," and wanted to introduce modern works, as he had done in 1924 when he introduced Gershwin's Rhapsody In Blue. Whiteman and his arranger, Ferde Grofé Sr., accepted Suesse's Concerto in Three Rhythms without criticism, and Suesse performed it at Carnegie Hall on November 4, 1932. Beginning with Billy Rose's first Broadway show, Sweet and Low (1930) Dana contributed to all of Rose's spectacular revues, including Casa Manana, the Aquacade and the Diamond Horseshoe revues. "The Night Is Young And You're So Beautiful" (written with Rose) won fifth place on Your Hit Parade on the broadcast of February 6, 1937, and stayed on the program for six weeks. Suesse also contributed songs to the Ziegfeld Follies (1934), Earl Carroll Vanities (1935), The Red Cat (1934) and the score to the film, Sweet Surrender (Universal, 1935). Her song "You Oughta Be In Pictures" (lyrics by Edward Heyman) became her most successful song. Incidental music was also written for numerous plays, including The "Seven Year Itch (1952)," produced by her first husband, H. Courtney Burr. Suesse's concertos and other works were featured in Radio City Music Hall, Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden and the Metropolitan Opera House. Conductors such as Frank J. Black, Robert Russell Bennett, Frederick Fennell, Arthur Fiedler, Eugene Goossens, Ferde Grofé Sr., Nathaniel Shilkret, Alexander Smallens, Alfred Wallenstein, and Meredith Willson performed her works in concert halls and on radio. She was the only American composer other than George Gershwin to be invited to perform on the now legendary General Motors Symphony concert series of nationwide broadcasts. Suesse aspired to be a lyricist as well as playwright, but her attempts at play writing never achieved success. One comedy, It Takes Two (written with Virginia Faulkner ran a short time to miserable reviews in New York (February, 1947), but that did not prevent Dana from enjoying half of the $50,000 paid for film rights. She took the opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream, to study composition with a master. She moved to Paris to study with Nadia Boulanger for three years, composing canons, string quartets, rondos, analyzing Beethoven sonatas and re-learning orchestration. After her return to the States, Dana was fascinated with the new progressive jazz sounds created by such pianists as Cy Coleman, Marian McPartland, and Billy Taylor. Frederick Fennell, conductor of the Eastman School of Music, heard about her Concerto in Rhythm (later called Jazz Concerto In D Major for Combo and Orchestra), and requested she play it for him on the piano, after which he insisted he be the first to conduct it. Before a cordial audience of two thousand, Suesse played the solo part as Fennell conducted the Rochester Civic Orchestra on Saturday night, March 31, 1956. The Rochester Times-Union said: "This is melodic music, full of surging pulse and vitality, fashioned as a work of art and possessing some thrilling climaxes." Despite her success in music, Dana still aspired to be more than a composer, and wrote scripts for many plays, with and without music. After Dana's mother and stepfather had passed away, she became disenchanted with Manhattan and the post-War music business. In April 1970, she moved to New London, Connecticut, where she met her next husband, C. Edwin Delinks. In 1974, after three years of marriage, they decided to invest their own money in an all-Suesse symphony concert at Carnegie Hall. Dana engaged the services of conductor Frederick Fennell and attended to a million details. The concert was given on December 11, 1974, with Cy Coleman as soloist with the American Symphony Orchestra. The New York Times reported, "...The highlight of the evening came when Miss Suesse herself joined the Orchestra to play The Blues, which is the second movement of the Concerto she played with Paul Whiteman at her début 42 years ago." A year later the prestigious Newport Music Festival (Rhode Island) presented four of her works in a concert series devoted to women. In 1975, Dana and Ed Delinks moved to Frederiksted, St. Croix, in the Virgin Islands. After a number of health crises, Ed died in a Miami hospital on July 7, 1981. Dana, who still read The New York Times every day, decided there was more to life than white beaches and turquoise seas. She returned to Manhattan in 1982 and rented two adjoining apartments at the Gramercy Park Hotel. A revival of interest in American music made her popular again for interviews and songwriters' concerts. Dana had a few distinct musical favorites. She loved Debussy's only completed opera, Pelléas et Mélisande. She saw it twice in Paris (once with Boulanger) and at least twice in America. The music she would take with her "to a desert island" was Bach's Passacaglia and Fugue in C Minor. Just before Suesse's death from a stroke she was busily writing a new musical, putting the finishing touches on Mr. Sycamore, which had been optioned for off-Broadway, and was looking for a New York home for a straight play, Nemesis.
Sammy Lee will best be remembered for his great contributions as Dance Director of many important musicals during Hollywood's golden age. He first acheived fame in New York as dance director of the highly successful Ziegfeld Follies of 1927. After contributing dance routines for Ziegfeld's famous productions "Showboat", "Rio Rita", and the last of the "Midnight Frolics", he signed with MGM studios early in 1929. His imaginative dance routines included overhead shots a year before Buzby Berkeley's work in "Whoopee". He brought the prestige of the Ziegfeld image to MGM's early musical talkies. Sammy Lee was nominated twice for an academy award for best dance direction, in 1935 for "King Of Burlesque", and 1937 for "Ali Baba Goes To Town", both at 20th Century Fox. He would return to MGM after a stint at RKO (1937) and directed shorts and choreographed war time musicals. Smaller studios benefited from his talents in 1944 and 1945. During this time he choreographed Columbia's "Carolina Blues" and Republic's "Earl Carroll's Vanities" before he retired with Paramount's 1945 release, "Out Of This World". Sammy Lee's productive career spanned an impressive sixteen years in Hollywood, and gave us many of cinema's most entertaining moments!
|Peter De Rose
Prolific songwriter ("Deep Purple", "Have You Ever Been Lonely?", "Wagon Wheels", "A Marshmallow World"), composer, pianist and author, educated at DeWitt Clinton High School; his first music study was with his sister. He joined the staff of the G. Ricordi Company, and was an early radio performer on radio ("Sweethearts of the Air" [1923-1929] with his wife May Singhi Breen, over NBC). He wrote songs for the Broadway musicals "Yes Yes Yvette", "Earl Carroll's Vanities of 1928", and "Ziegfeld Follies of 1934". Joining ASCAP in 1922, he collaborated musically with his wife and with Jo Trent, Harry Richman, Charles Tobias, Billy Hill, Mitchell Parish, Bert Shefter, Benny Davis, Al Stillman, Sammy Gallop, Sam Lewis, Stanley Adams, and Carl Sigman. His other popular-song and insrumental compositions include "When Your Hair Has Turned to Silver", "When You're Gone I Won't Forget", "Muddy Water", "I Just Roll Along", "One More Kiss Then Goodnight", "Somebody Loves You", "There's a Home in Wyoming", "Rain", "Just Say Aloha", "That's Life I Guess", "In a Mission by the Sea", "Royal Blue", "Maytime in Vienna", "Starlit Hour", "The Lamp is Low", "Lilacs in the Rain", "On a Little Street in Singapore", "All I Need is You", "Moonlight Mood", "Evening Star", "American Waltz", "Autumn Serenade", "That's Where I Came In", "As Years Go By", "In the Market Place in Old Monterey", "Who Do You Know in Heaven?", "Twenty-Four Hours of Sunshine", "God of Battles" (poem by General George Patton), "I Hear America Singing", "I Hear a Forest Praying", "God Is Ever Beside Me", "Buona Sera", and "Love Ya".
Songwriter ("Stormy Weather", "Let's Fall in Love"), author, lyricist and pianist, educated in public schools. He was a photo engraver before working as a pianist in film theatres, and he wrote special material for vaudeville before going on to produce night club shows. He wrote the songs for the Broadway musicals "9:15 Revue", "Earl Carroll Vanities (1930 and 1932)", and "Americana", plus the stage scores for three editions of the night club revue "Cotton Club Parade" and "Say When". Joining ASCAP in 1926, his chief musical collaborators included Harold Arlen, Harry Barris, Duke Ellington, Rube Bloom, Sammy Fain, Jay Gorney, Ray Henderson, Burton Lane, Jimmy McHugh, James V. Monaco, Sam H. Stept and Harry Warren. His other popular-song compositions include "Get Happy", "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea", "Kickin' the Gong Around", "I Love a Parade", "I Got A Right to Sing the Blues", "I've Got the World on a String", "Minnie the Moocher's Wedding Day", "Happy as the Day Is Long", "As Long As I Live", "Ill Wind", "Some Sunday Morning", "When the Sun Comes Out", "The Moment I Laid Eyes on You", "Now I Know", "Tess' Torch Song", "Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams", "I Can't Face the Music", "Don't Worry 'Bout Me", "Animal Crackers in My Soup", "Stop, You're Breaking My Heart", "I'm Shooting High", "Spreadin' Rhythm Around", "Lovely Lady", "Good For Nothin' Joe", and "My Best Wishes".
Composer, songwriter ("Is There Anything Wrong in That?"), journalist and organist, educated at the US Military Acedemy. He wrote shows at West Point and was an organist in the Catholic Chapel. He left the Army in 1926 to become a newspaper reporter in Boston. He wrote the Broadway stage scores and songs for revues including "Earl Carroll's Vanities" (1931), "Shoot the Works", "and "Third Little Show". He wrote special material for night clubs, Kate Parson's "Show Boat Revue", and songs for films. During World War II he re-entered the Army as a Captain, and retired as a Major. Joining ASCAP in 1929, his chief musical collaborators included Nat Lief, Max Lief, Herbert Magidson, Maurice Sigler, Arthur Swanstrom, and Ned Washington. His other popular-song compositions include ""Singin' in the Bathtub", "H'lo, Baby", "Here It Is Monday, and I've Still Got a Dollar", "Deep in the Blue", "When a Lady Meets a Gentleman Down South", "It's in the Stars", "My Impression of You", and "Ten O'Clock Town".
Prolific lyricist ("The Tenement Symphony", songwriter and author, educated at Columbia University. He came to California in 1937 to work in films, and served in the United States Air Force during World War II, where he wrote music for training and combat films. After the war, he wrote special material for night club singers and later for television, as well as songs and music for "earl Carroll's Vanities", "Meet the People" and "The Big Store", plus the stage scores for "Jump For Joy" and "Zenda". Joining ASCAP in 1942, his chief musical collaborators included Hal Borne, Ray Golden and Duke Ellington, and his other popular-song compositions included "Walk It Off", "I Wish I Wuz", "Elmer's Wedding Day", "My Favorite Song", "Wishful Thinking", "I Wanna Foof on a Fife", "Bli-Blip", "Nothin'", "The Jittarumba", "While We Dance", and more.