Vincent Youmans

Vincent Youmans

Real Name:Vincent Millie Youmans

American composer and Broadway producer (born September 27, 1898 in New York, New York – died April 5, 1946 in Denver, Colorado).

Youmans started composing songs and producing shows for troop entertainment while serving in the U.S. Navy during World War I. After the war, he worked first as a song-plugger for Jerome H. Remick Music Publishers, but then became a rehearsal pianist for Victor Herbert’s operettas. In 1921, he joined up with Ira Gershwin to write the score for the musical "Two Little Girls in Blue." A song from that musical, "Oh Me! Oh My!", became his first hit. He followed this with two other popular musicals, "Wildflower" (1923, with Otto Harbach and Oscar Hammerstein II) and the even more successful "No, No Nanette" (1925, with Irving Caesar). Two songs from the latter show also became international hits, "Tea for Two" and "I Want to Be Happy."

In 1927, Youmans turned to producing his own Broadway shows. Yet only his very first show, "Hit The Deck!", with the hits "Sometimes I'm Happy" and "Hallelujah", became a major commercial success. Later shows flopped even though some of their songs also became hits, notably "Time On My Hands" from "Smiles" (1930).

Youmans' last great success came with the Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers movie "Flying Down To Rio." The title song and "The Carioca" again became huge hits. In 1934, however, Youmans was forced to retire because he had contracted tuberculosis. In 1943, he tried a Broadway comeback with the "Vincent Youmans' Ballet Revue," but without success. Three years later, he lost the battle against his illness.

During his relatively short career, Youmans wrote fewer than 100 songs, but 18 of these, an unusually high percentage, are considered standards by ASCAP. In recognition of this fact, Youmans was posthumously inducted into the Songwriter's Hall of Fame in 1970. The subsequent Broadway revival of "No, No, Nanette" (1971) kicked of an entire era of nostalgic revivals on Broadway, and in 1983, Youmans was also inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame.

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