Arthur Schwartz (November 25, 1900 – September 3, 1984) was an American composer and film producer.
Arthur Schwartz photo taken by Carl Van Vechten, 1933
November 25, 1900|
Brooklyn, New York City
|Died||September 3, 1984
|Occupation||Composer, film producer|
Schwartz was born in Brooklyn, New York City, on November 25, 1900. He taught himself to play the harmonica and piano as a child, and began playing for silent films at age 14. He earned a B.A. in English at New York University and an M.A. in that subject at Columbia. Forced by his father, an attorney, to study law, Schwartz graduated from NYU Law School and was admitted to the Bar in 1924.
While studying law, he supported himself by teaching English in the New York school system. He also worked on songwriting concurrently with his studies and published his first song ("Baltimore, Md., You're the Only Doctor for Me", with lyrics by Eli Dawson) by 1923. Acquaintances such as Lorenz Hart and George Gershwin encouraged him to stick with composing. He attempted to convince Howard Dietz, an MGM publicist who had collaborated with Jerome Kern, to work with him, but Dietz initially declined.
As Artist Direct documents: Schwartz placed his first songs in a Broadway show, The New Yorkers (March 10, 1927). By 1928, he had closed his law office and convinced Dietz to write with him. Their first songs together were used in the Broadway revue The Little Show (April 30, 1929) and included "I Guess I'll Have to Change My Plan", which belatedly became a hit three years later when it was recorded by Rudy Vallée. Schwartz's career was launched, and in 1930 he contributed songs to six shows, three in London and three in New York, the most successful of which was Three's a Crowd (October 15, 1930), which featured the same cast as The Little Show and featured the hit "Something to Remember You By". Schwartz also started contributing songs to motion pictures, beginning with "I'm Afraid of You" (lyrics by Ralph Rainger and Edward Eliscu) in Queen High (1930).
Among other Broadway musicals for which Schwartz wrote the music are: The Band Wagon (1931), A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1951), By the Beautiful Sea (1954), The Gay Life (1961), and Jennie (1963). His films include the MGM musical The Band Wagon (1953) with lyricist Howard Dietz.
Schwartz was married to 1930's Broadway ingénue Kay Carrington, until her death when their first son, Jonathan Schwartz (born 1938), was 14. Jonathan is now a radio personality and sometime musician. Schwartz's younger son, Paul Schwartz (born 1956), with actress/dancer Mary Schwartz, is a composer, conductor, pianist, and producer.
Schwartz received two Academy Award nominations for Best Song: the first in 1944 for "They're Either Too Young or Too Old" in the film Thank Your Lucky Stars; the second in 1948 for "A Gal in Calico" from the film The Time, the Place and the Girl.
Schwartz collaborated with some of the best lyricists of his day, including Dietz, Dorothy Fields, Ira Gershwin, Oscar Hammerstein II, Edward Heyman, Frank Loesser, Johnny Mercer, Leo Robin, and Al Stillman.
See the section Arthur Schwartz (1900–1984) in List of musicals by composer: M to Z#S.
The following is a selection of songs composed by Arthur Schwartz.
With Howard DietzEdit
- "By Myself", recorded by Rosemary Clooney, Stacey Kent, Julie London, Ann Richards and notably Judy Garland.
- "I Guess I'll Have to Change My Plan", introduced by Clifton Webb in the revue The Little Show (1929)
- "Lucky Seven" (1930)
- "High and Low", performed in The Band Wagon (1931) by John Barker and Roberta Robinson
- "Hoops", introduced in the revue The Band Wagon (1931) by Fred and Adele Astaire
- "Dancing in the Dark", introduced by John Barker in the revue The Band Wagon (1931)
- "I Love Louisa", introduced by Fred and Adele Astaire in the revue The Band Wagon (1931)
- "If There Is Someone Lovelier Than You", recorded by Dick Haymes
- "Alone Together", introduced in the revue Flying Colors (1932), by Jean Sargent
- "Louisiana Hayride", introduced by Tamara Geva, Clifton Webb, and ensemble in the revue Flying Colors (1932)
- "Something to Remember You By", recorded by Morgana King, Irene Kral, and Jo Stafford
- "You and the Night and the Music", from the musical Revenge with Music (1934)
- "Get Yourself a Geisha Girl", from the musical At Home Abroad (1935)
- "Got a Bran' New Suit", introduced by Ethel Waters in the revue At Home Abroad (1935)
- "Love Is a Dancing Thing", from the 1935 revue At Home Abroad (1935)
- "Paree", from the musical At Home Abroad (1935)
- "I See Your Face Before Me", introduced by Jack Buchanan, Evelyn Laye, and Adele Dixon in the musical Between the Devil (1937) and recorded by Frank Sinatra in his In the Wee Small Hours (1955) album and by Doris Day on her Day by Night (1957) album.
- "Haunted Heart", introduced in the musical Inside U.S.A. (1948) and recorded by Susannah McCorkle
- "That's Entertainment!", for the film The Band Wagon (1953)
- "Waitin' for the Evening Train", for the musical Jennie (1963)
With other lyricistsEdit
- "After All You're All I'm After" (words by Edward Heyman, 1933)
- "Then I'll Be Tired of You" (words by E. Y. Harburg, 1934); recorded by Fats Waller and Jeri Southern
- "An Old Flame Never Dies" (words by Al Stillman and Laurence Stallings), performed in the musical Virginia (1937)
- "Confession" (1937), recorded by Judy Holliday
- "A Lady Needs a Change" (words by Dorothy Fields), performed by Ethel Merman in Stars in Your Eyes (1939)
- "It's All Yours" (words by Dorothy Fields), performed by Jimmy Durante and Ethel Merman in Stars in Your Eyes (1939)
- "'Til You Return" (words by Howard Schwartz), introduced by Claire Trevor in the film Crossroads (1942)
- "I'm Riding for a Fall" (Dennis Morgan and Joan Leslie) and "They're Either Too Young or Too Old" (Bette Davis) (both to words by Frank Loesser), in the film Thank Your Lucky Stars (1943)
- "A Gal in Calico" (words by Leo Robin), introduced in the film The Time, the Place and the Girl (1946) by Jack Carson, Martha Vickers and Dennis Morgan
- "A Rainy Night in Rio" (words by Leo Robin), introduced in the film The Time, the Place and the Girl (1946) by Dennis Morgan, Jack Carson, Janis Paige, and Martha Vickers
- "Alone Too Long" (words by Dorothy Fields), introduced by Shirley Booth and Wilbur Evans in the musical By the Beautiful Sea (1954)
- "Simpatico" recorded by Dean Martin (April 25, 1955)
- "Arthur Schwartz". Songwriters Hall of Fame. Retrieved November 23, 2013.
- "Artist Bio: Arthur Schwartz". ArtistDirect.com. Retrieved November 23, 2013.
- James Gavin (March 7, 2004). "Book Review: Frankie & Jonathan: All in Good Time". The New York Times.
- Robert Cummings. "Arthur Schwartz Artist Biography". AllMusic.com.
- "26 Elected to the Theater Hall of Fame". The New York Times. March 3, 1981.
- "Stars in Your Eyes". The Dorothy Fields Website. Retrieved November 23, 2013.
- Charlotte Greenspan (July 27, 2010). Pick Yourself Up: Dorothy Fields and the American Musical. Oxford University Press. p. 233.