Arthur Hammerstein (December 21, 1872 – October 12, 1955) was an American songwriter, dramatist, playwright and theater manager
Born and educated to a Jewish family in New York City, Hammerstein was the son of the theater impresario and composer Oscar Hammerstein I. Arthur started out as a bricklayer and plasterer,working on projects with his father including the Victoria Theater and Manhattan Opera House.
In 1908 Hammerstein started working on becoming a producer, signing Italian singer Luisa Tetrazzini to the family's Manhattan Center and negotiating with Otto Kahn before moving to London in 1910. While there Arthur and his father had a disagreement with money spending and Arthur vowed never to speak to him again. With his father's support, Arthur embarked on his first production, Naughty Marietta.Arthur's brother Willie Hammerstein died in June 1914, and Arthur took over management of the family's Victoria Theater. However, the theater was not financially viable and would be closed the next year. On its site, the first movie palace in Times Square, the Rialto Theatre, was built.
Hammerstein was the producer of the Rudolf Friml operettas The Firefly (1912), Katinka (1915) and Rose-Marie (1924), which he collaborated on with his nephew, Oscar Hammerstein II. Arthur produced almost 30 musicals in 40 years in show business.
During a performance of Tickle Me in 1920, Hammerstein was arrested for possessing what was thought to be whiskey during the Prohibition era, which later turned out to be iced tea. In 1930 Hammerstein was accused by a dance director George Haskell for assaultbut the charges were later dropped and the two reconciled. To search for better business opportunities, Hammerstein went to Hollywood to produce his one and only film The Lottery Bride, which was a failure and he returned to Broadway again. Hammerstein's last productions were Luana and Ballyhoo in 1930, which were considered failures. Hammerstein suffered bankruptcy in 1931 due to some musical failures and went into retirement.
In 1925-1927 Hammerstein had built what is now known as the Ed Sullivan Theater at 1697 Broadway in Manhattan.
Hammerstein made an appearance as himself in an episode of the film series Popular Science in 1949. He was one of the writers of the song "Because of You," a major hit (#1 for 10 weeks) for Tony Bennett in 1951. Hammerstein wrote the song in 1940. It was used in the film I Was an American Spy (1951).
In 1924 Hammerstein was married to silent film actress and stage personality Dorothy Dalton.His daughter Elaine Hammerstein, from his first marriage was a well-known stage and film actress. Hammerstein died on October 12, 1955, from a heart attack at age 82.
He is interred at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, New York City.
The Arthur and Dorothy Dalton Hammerstein House, the couple's former residence in Beechhurst, Queens, is a New York City designated landmark.
Jerome David Kern was an American composer of musical theatre and popular music. One of the most important American theatre composers of the early 20th century, he wrote more than 700 songs, used in over 100 stage works, including such classics as "Ol' Man River", "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man", "A Fine Romance", "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes", "The Song Is You", "All the Things You Are", "The Way You Look Tonight" and "Long Ago ". He collaborated with many of the leading librettists and lyricists of his era, including George Grossmith Jr., Guy Bolton, P. G. Wodehouse, Otto Harbach, Oscar Hammerstein II, Dorothy Fields, Johnny Mercer, Ira Gershwin and Yip Harburg.
Oscar Greeley Clendenning Hammerstein II was an American lyricist, librettist, theatrical producer, and director in the musical theater for almost 40 years. He won eight Tony Awards and two Academy Awards for Best Original Song. Many of his songs are standard repertoire for vocalists and jazz musicians. He co-wrote 850 songs.
Richard Charles Rodgers was an American composer, known largely for his work in musical theater. With 43 Broadway musicals and over 900 songs to his credit, Rodgers was one of the most significant American composers of the 20th century, and his compositions had a significant impact on popular music.
Samuel Goldwyn, also known as Samuel Goldfish, was a Polish-American film producer. He was best known for being the founding contributor and executive of several motion picture studios in Hollywood. His awards include the 1973 Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award, the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award in 1947, and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in 1958.
Dorothy Fields was an American librettist and lyricist. She wrote over 400 songs for Broadway musicals and films. Her best-known pieces include "The Way You Look Tonight" (1936), "A Fine Romance" (1936), "On the Sunny Side of the Street" (1930), "Don't Blame Me" (1948), "Pick Yourself Up" (1936), "I'm in the Mood for Love" (1935), "You Couldn't Be Cuter" (1938) and "Big Spender" (1966). Throughout her career, she collaborated with various influential figures in the American musical theater, including Jerome Kern, Cy Coleman, Irving Berlin, and Jimmy McHugh. Along with Ann Ronell, Dana Suesse, Bernice Petkere, and Kay Swift, she was one of the first successful Tin Pan Alley and Hollywood female songwriters.
Oscar Hammerstein I was a German-born businessman, theater impresario, and composer in New York City. His passion for opera led him to open several opera houses, and he rekindled opera's popularity in America. He was the grandfather of American lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II and the father of theater manager William Hammerstein and American producer Arthur Hammerstein.
Vincent Millie Youmans was an American Broadway composer and producer.
Arthur Schwartz was an American composer and film producer, best remembered for his songwriting collaborations with Howard Dietz.
The Ed Sullivan Theater is a theater located at 1697–1699 Broadway, between West 53rd and 54th Streets, in the Theater District in Manhattan, New York City. The theater has been used as a venue for live and taped CBS broadcasts since 1936.
Marilyn Miller was one of the most popular Broadway musical stars of the 1920s and early 1930s. She was an accomplished tap dancer, singer and actress, and the combination of these talents endeared her to audiences. On stage, she usually played rags-to-riches Cinderella characters who lived happily ever after. Her enormous popularity and famed image were in distinct contrast to her personal life, which was marred by disappointment, tragedy, frequent illness, and ultimately her sudden death due to complications of nasal surgery at age 37.
Joseph Stein was an American playwright best known for writing the books for such musicals as Fiddler on the Roof and Zorba.
Elaine Hammerstein was an American silent film and stage actress.
Dorothy Dalton was an American silent film actress and stage personality who worked her way from a stock company to a movie career. Beginning in 1910, Dalton was a player in stock companies in Chicago, Terre Haute, Indiana and Holyoke, Massachusetts. She joined the Keith-Albee-Orpheum Corporation vaudeville circuits. By 1914 she was working in Hollywood.
George S. Irving was an American actor known primarily for his character roles on Broadway and as the voice of Heat Miser in the American Christmas television specials beginning with The Year Without a Santa Claus (1974).
Beechhurst is a neighborhood in the northeastern section of the New York City borough of Queens. It is northeast of Whitestone, bordered by the East River to the north, the Cross Island Parkway to the south, and the approaches to the Throgs Neck and Whitestone bridges to the east and west respectively. It is also bordered by the westernmost section of Long Island Sound.
James Blanchard Hammerstein was an American theatre director and producer.
Music in the Air is a musical written by Oscar Hammerstein II and Jerome Kern (music). It introduced songs such as "The Song Is You", "In Egern on the Tegern See" and "I've Told Ev'ry Little Star". The musical premiered on Broadway in 1932, and followed the team's success with the musical Show Boat from 1927.
York Theatre is an Off-Broadway theatre company based in East Midtown Manhattan, New York City. In its 50th year, York Theatre is dedicated to the production of new musicals and concert productions of forgotten musicals from the past. Each season consists of three or four mainstage productions, six or more concert presentations and dozens of developmental readings. It has had several transfers of its work to larger off-Broadway theatres and to Broadway. The company was awarded a special Drama Desk Award in 1996 to its artistic director Janet Hayes Walker and in 2006 for its "vital contributions to theater by developing and presenting new musicals". After Walker's death in 1997, the company has been run by James Morgan.
J. Harold Murray was an American baritone singer and actor. For more than a decade, during the Roaring Twenties and the Depression Thirties, he contributed to the development of musical theater by bridging vaudeville, operetta and the modern American musical. The most popular American songs he introduced on Broadway included "Autumn in New York" ; "Let's Have Another Cup of Coffee" and "Soft Lights and Sweet Music" ; "Rio Rita", "The Kinkajou" and "The Rangers Song" ; and "Mandalay" (1921, The Whirl of New York,.
William Hammerstein was an American theater manager. He ran the Victoria Theatre on what became Times Square, Manhattan, presenting very popular vaudeville shows with a wide variety of acts. He was known for "freak acts", where celebrities or people notorious for scandals appeared on stage. Hammerstein's Victoria Theatre became the most successful in New York.