(Lorenz Hart singlehandedly changed the craft of lyric wri...)
Lorenz Hart singlehandedly changed the craft of lyric writing. When Larry Hart first met Dick Rodgers in 1919, the commercial song lyric consisted of tired cliches and cloying Victorian sentimentality. Hart changed all that, always avoiding the obvious, aiming for the unexpected phrase that would twang the nerve or touch the heart. Endowed with both a buoyant wit and a tender, almost raw sincerity, Hart brought a poetic complexity to his art, capturing the everday way people talk and weaving it into his lyrics. Songs had never been written like that before, and afterwards it seemed impossible that songs would ever be written any other way. Lorenz Hart: A Poet on Broadway presents the public triumphs of a true genius of the American musical theatre, and the personal tragedies of a man his friend the singer Mabel Mercer described as "the saddest man I ever knew." Author Frederick Nolan began researching this definitive biography in 1968, tracking down and interviewing Hart's friends and collaborators one by one, including a remarkable conversation with Richard Rodgers himself. A veritable who's who of Broadway's golden age, including Joshua Logan, Gene Kelly, George Abbott and many more, recall their uncensored and often hilarious, sometimes poignant memories of the cigar-chomping impresario who composed some of the best lyrics ever concocted for the Broadway stage, but who remained forever lost and lonely in the crowds of hangers-on he attracted. A portrait of Hart emerges as a Renaissance and endearing bon vivant conflicted by his homosexuality and ultimately torn apart by alcoholism. Nolan skillfully pulls together the chaotic details of Hart's remarkable life, beginning with his bohemian upbringing in turn of the century Harlem. Here are his first ventures into show business, and the 24-year-old Hart's first meeting with the 16-year-old Richard Rodgers. "Neither of us mentioned it," Rodgers later recalled, "but we evidently knew we would work together, and I left Hart's house having acquired in one afternoon a career, a best friend, and a source of permanent irritation." Nolan captures it all: the team's early setbacks, the spectacular hour long standing ovation for their hit song, "Manhattan," the Hollywood years (which inspired Hart to utter the undying line, "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean the bastards aren't out to get you"), and the unforgettable string of hit shows that included "On Your Toes," "The Boys from Syracuse," and their masterpiece, "Pal Joey." But while success made Rodgers more confident, more musically daring, and more disciplined, for Hart the rounds of parties, wisecracks, and most of all drinking began to take more and more of a toll on his work. When Hart's unreliability forced Rodgers to reluctantly seek out another lyricist, Oscar Hammerstein II, and their collaboration resulted in the unprecedented artistic and commercial success of "Oklahoma," Hart never truly recovered. Meticulously researched and rich with anecdotes that capture the excitement, the hilarity, the dizzying heights, and the crushing lows of a life on Broadway, Lorenz Hart is the story of an American original.
(From “Blue Moon” to “Where or When,” and “My Funny Valent...)
From “Blue Moon” to “Where or When,” and “My Funny Valentine,” Lorenz Hart, together with Richard Rodgers, created some of the most beautiful and witty songs ever written. Here is the story of the strikingly unromantic life of this songwriting genius. An unforgettable portrait of an exuberant yet troubled artist who so enriched the American songbook “Blue Moon, ” “Where or When, ” “The Lady Is a Tramp,” “My Funny Valentine,” “Isn’t It Romantic?,” “My Romance,” “There’s a Small Hotel,” “Falling in Love with Love,” “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered”—lyricist Lorenz Hart, together with composer Richard Rodgers, wrote some of the most memorable songs ever created. More than half a century after their collaboration ended, Rodgers & Hart songs are indispensable to the repertoire of nightclub singers everywhere. A Ship Without a Sail is the story of the complicated man who was Lorenz Hart. His lyrics spin with brilliance and sophistication, yet at their core is an unmistakable wistfulness. The sweetness of “My Romance” and “Isn’t It Romantic?” is unsurpassed in American song, but Hart’s lyrics could also be cynical, funny, ironic. He brought a unique wit and elegance to popular music. Larry Hart and Richard Rodgers wrote approximately thirty Broadway musicals and dozens of songs for Hollywood films. At least four of their musicals—On Your Toes, Babes in Arms, The Boys from Syracuse, and Pal Joey— have become classics. But despite their prodigious collaboration, Rodgers and Hart were an odd couple. Rodgers was precise, punctual, heterosexual, handsome, and eager to be accepted by Society. Hart was barely five feet tall, alcoholic, homosexual, and more comfortable in a bar or restaurant than anywhere else. Terrified of solitude, he invariably threw the party and picked up the check. His lyrics are all the more remarkable considering that he never sustained a romantic relationship, living his entire life with his mother, who died only months before he died at age forty-eight. Gary Marmorstein’s revelatory biography includes many of the lyrics that define Hart’s legacy—those clever, touching stanzas that still move us or make us laugh.
((P/V/G Composer Collection). A massive collection of 73 s...)
(P/V/G Composer Collection). A massive collection of 73 songs, including a foreword by Dorothy Rodgers and indexes by show title and song title. Songs include: Bewitched * Blue Moon * Ev'rybody Loves You * Falling in Love With Love * Have You Met Miss Jones? * I Could Write a Book * I Didn't Know What Time It Was * Isn't It Romantic? * The Lady Is a Tramp * Manhattan * The Most Beautiful Girl in the World * My Funny Valentine * My Romance * Sentimental Me * There's a Small Hotel * Thou Swell * You Took Advantage of Me * and more. Selections range from their most popular productions to some never-before published material a real collector's item! 288 pages.
(We proudly present a revised edition of this classic feat...)
We proudly present a revised edition of this classic featuring all-new digital engravings and the original Broadway artwork on the cover. We've added three new songs (All at Once * Imagine * You're Nearer) to these huge Rodgers and Hart hits from this musical: Babes in Arms * I Wish I Were in Love Again * Johnny One Note * The Lady Is a Tramp * My Funny Valentine * Where or When.
Pal Joey: The Novel and The Libretto and Lyrics (Penguin Classics)
(For its 75th anniversary and Frank Sinatra’s centennial: ...)
For its 75th anniversary and Frank Sinatra’s centennial: the Jazz Age masterpiece that inspired the iconic Sinatra film and the hit Broadway musical, and featuring the musical’s libretto and lyrics On the seedy side of Chicago nightlife in the 1930s, Joey Evans is a poor man’s Bing Crosby—a big-talking, small-time nightclub crooner down on his luck but always on the make. In slangy, error-littered letters signed “Pal Joey,” he recounts his exploits with brash nightclub managers, shady business partners, and every pretty girl (“mouse”) he meets. Charismatic yet conniving, Pal Joey is a smooth operator whose bravado and big ideas disguise a far less self-assured soul, caught up in the rags-to-riches dream of the Jazz Age. Originally serialized in The New Yorker and the inspiration for the 1940 Rodgers and Hart musical of the same name and the 1957 film starring Frank Sinatra, Kim Novak, and Rita Hayworth, Pal Joey is the story of a true “heel,” as complex and memorable as any antihero in American literature. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Popular Performer -- Rodgers and Hart: The Songs of Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart (Popular Performer Series)
(The genius of Rodgers and Hart sparkles in this collectio...)
The genius of Rodgers and Hart sparkles in this collection, skillfully arranged by Jan Sanborn for advanced pianists. This volume revisits their best songs, casting them in the rich voice of the piano. Wonderful musical moments are certain to provide hours of enjoyment for the pianist who wishes to be a Popular Performer. Titles: Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered * Blue Moon * Dancing on the Ceiling * Falling In Love with Love * I Could Write a Book * Mountain Greenery * My Funny Valentine * Where or When * With a Song in My Heart.
Lorenz Milton Hart was the lyricist half of the Broadway songwriting team Rodgers and Hart. Some of his more famous lyrics include "Blue Moon," "Mountain Greenery," "The Lady Is a Tramp," "Manhattan," "Where or When," "Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered," "Falling in Love with Love," "Have You Met Miss Jones?," "My Funny Valentine," "I Could Write a Book", "This Can't Be Love", "With a Song in My Heart", "It Never Entered My Mind".
Hart was born in Harlem, the elder of two sons, to Jewish immigrant parents, Max M. and Frieda (Isenberg) Hart, of German background. His father, a business promoter, sent Hart and his brother to private schools. (His brother, Teddy Hart, also went into theatre and became a musical comedy star. Teddy Hart's wife, Dorothy Hart, wrote a biography of Lorenz Hart.)
Hart received his early education from Columbia Grammar School and then attended Columbia University School of Journalism for two years. In 1919 a friend introduced him to Richard Rodgers, and the two joined forces to write songs for a series of amateur and student productions.
By 1918, Hart was working for the Shubert brothers, partners in theatre, translating German plays into English. In 1919, his and Rodgers' song "Any Old Place With You" was included in the Broadway musical comedy A Lonely Romeo. In 1920, six of their songs were used in the musical comedy Poor Little Ritz Girl, which also had music by Sigmund Romberg. They were hired to write the score for the 1925 Theatre Guild production The Garrick Gaieties, the success of which brought them acclaim.
Rodgers and Hart subsequently wrote the music and lyrics for 26 Broadway musicals during a more-than-20-year partnership that ended shortly before Hart's early death. Their "big four" were Babes in Arms, The Boys From Syracuse, Pal Joey, and On Your Toes. The Rodgers and Hart songs have been described as intimate and destined for long lives outside the theater. Many of their songs are standard repertoire for singers and jazz instrumentalists. Notable singers who have performed and recorded their songs have included Frank Sinatra, Doris Day, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Blossom Dearie, and Carly Simon. Hart has been called "the expressive bard of the urban generation which matured during the interwar years.". But the "encomiums suggest(ing) that Larry Hart was a poet" caused his friend and fellow writer Henry Myers to state otherwise. "Larry in particular was primarily a showman. If you can manage to examine his songs technically, and for the moment elude their spell, you will see that they are all meant to be acted, that they are part of a play. Larry was a playwright."
Rodgers and Hart wrote music and lyrics for several films, including Love Me Tonight (1932), The Phantom President (1932), Hallelujah, I'm a Bum (1933), and Mississippi (1935). With their successes, during the Great Depression Hart was earning $60,000 annually, and he became a magnet for many people. He gave numerous large parties. Beginning in 1938, he traveled more often and suffered from his drinking. Nevertheless, Rodgers and Hart continued working together through mid-1942, with their final new musical being 1942's By Jupiter.
The New York Times, July 23, 1942, reported “The Theatre Guild announced yesterday that Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammerstein II will soon begin work on a musical version of Lynn Riggs’s folk-play, ‘Green Grow the Lilacs,’ which the Guild produced for sixty-four performances at the Guild Theatre in 1931.’ The musical opened March 31, 1943 as “Oklahoma!” but Hart had exited, leaving Rodgers and new-partner Hammerstein as the composers.
Hart, meanwhile, was much affected by his mother's death in late April 1943. Regrouping somewhat, Rodgers and Hart teamed a final time in the fall of 1943 for a revival of A Connecticut Yankee. One new number, "To Keep My Love Alive", was written for this reworked version of the play; it would prove to be Hart's last lyric. Hart had taken off the night of the opening and was gone for two days. He was found ill in a hotel room and taken to the hospital, but died within a few days.
After Hart's death, Rodgers continued his collaboration with Oscar Hammerstein II. Theirs was a long and successful collaboration, one which made them one of the most successful composing teams of the 20th century.
Devastated by the death of his mother seven months earlier, Hart died in New York City of pneumonia from exposure on November 22, 1943, after drinking heavily. His remains are buried in Mount Zion Cemetery in Queens County, New York. The circumstances of his life were heavily edited and romanticized for the 1948 MGM biopic Words and Music.
((P/V/G Composer Collection). A massive collection of 73 s...)
Hart suffered from depression throughout his life. His erratic behavior was often the cause of friction between him and Rodgers and led to a breakup of their partnership in 1943 before his death. Rodgers then began collaborating with Oscar Hammerstein II.
“According to Thomas Hischak, Hart "had a remarkable talent for polysyllabic and internal rhymes", and his lyrics have often been praised for their wit and technical sophistication.
According to Stephen Holden, a writer in The New York Times, "Many of Hart's ballad lyrics conveyed a heart-stopping sadness that reflected his conviction that he was physically too unattractive to be lovable." The New York Times writer also noted that "In his lyrics, as in his life, Hart stands as a compellingly lonely figure. Although he wrote dozens of songs that are playful, funny and filled with clever wordplay, it is the rueful vulnerability beneath their surface that lends them a singular poignancy."”
Hart lived with his widowed mother. He suffered from alcoholism, and would sometimes disappear for weeks at a time on alcoholic binges.
Many of his lyrics were the confessional outpourings of a hopeless romantic who loathed his own body. By all accounts, Hart, who stood just under five feet tall and wreathed himself in cigar smoke, saw himself as an undesirable freak. Homosexual in the era of the closet, he pursued a secretive and tormented erotic life of which only hints appear in his songs.