Jule Styne

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Jule Styne
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Background information
Birth nameJulius Kerwin Stein
Born(1905-12-31)December 31, 1905
London, England
DiedSeptember 20, 1994(1994-09-20) (aged 88)
Manhattan, New York, U.S.
Occupation(s) Song writer, composer
Years active1947–1994

Jule Styne ( /ˈlistn/ ; [1] born Julius Kerwin Stein, December 31, 1905 – September 20, 1994) was a British-American song writer and composer known for a series of Broadway musicals, which include several famous and frequently revived shows which also became successful films, including Gypsy , Gentlemen Prefer Blondes , and Funny Girl .

Composer person who creates music, either by musical notation or oral tradition

A composer is a musician who is an author of music in any form, including vocal music, instrumental music, electronic music, and music which combines multiple forms. A composer may create music in any music genre, including, for example, classical music, musical theatre, blues, folk music, jazz, and popular music. Composers often express their works in a written musical score using musical notation.

Broadway theatre class of professional theater presented in New York City, New York, USA

Broadway theatre, also known simply as Broadway, refers to the theatrical performances presented in the 41 professional theatres, each with 500 or more seats located in the Theater District and Lincoln Center along Broadway, in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Along with London's West End theatre, Broadway theatre is widely considered to represent the highest level of commercial theatre in the English-speaking world.

Musical theatre work that combines songs, music, spoken dialogue, acting, and dance

Musical theatre is a form of theatrical performance that combines songs, spoken dialogue, acting and dance. The story and emotional content of a musical – humor, pathos, love, anger – are communicated through the words, music, movement and technical aspects of the entertainment as an integrated whole. Although musical theatre overlaps with other theatrical forms like opera and dance, it may be distinguished by the equal importance given to the music as compared with the dialogue, movement and other elements. Since the early 20th century, musical theatre stage works have generally been called, simply, musicals.

Contents

Early life

Styne was born to a Jewish family [2] in London, England to immigrants from Ukraine, the Russian Empire who ran a small grocery. Even before his family left Britain, he did impressions on the stage of well-known singers, including Harry Lauder who saw him perform and advised him to take up the piano. [3] At the age of eight, he moved with his family to Chicago, where at an early age he began taking piano lessons. He proved to be a prodigy and performed with the Chicago, St. Louis, and Detroit Symphonies before he was ten years old.

London Capital of the United Kingdom

London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom, as well as the largest city within the European Union. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.

Russian Empire Former country, 1721–1917

The Russian Empire, also known as Imperial Russia or simply Russia, was an empire that existed across Eurasia and North America from 1721, following the end of the Great Northern War, until the Republic was proclaimed by the Provisional Government that took power after the February Revolution of 1917.

Harry Lauder Scottish entertainer

Sir Henry Lauder was a Scottish singer and comedian popular in both music hall and vaudevillian theatre traditions; he achieved international success.

Career

Styne attended Chicago Musical College, but before then, he had already attracted attention of another teenager, Mike Todd, later a successful film producer, who commissioned him to write a song for a musical act that he was creating. It was the first of over 1,500 published songs Styne composed in his career. His first hit, "Sunday", was written in 1926. In 1929, Styne was playing with the Ben Pollack band. [4]

Chicago Musical College is a division of the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University.

Mike Todd American theatre and film producer

Michael "Mike" Todd was an American theater and film producer, best known for his 1956 production of Around the World in 80 Days, which won an Academy Award for Best Picture. He is known as the third of Elizabeth Taylor's seven husbands, and is the only one whom she did not divorce. He was the driving force behind the development of the eponymous Todd-AO widescreen film format.

Ben Pollack American musician

Ben Pollack was an American drummer and bandleader from the mid-1920s through the swing era. His eye for talent led him to employ musicians such as Benny Goodman, Jack Teagarden, Glenn Miller, Jimmy McPartland, and Harry James. This ability earned him the nickname the "Father of Swing".

Styne was a vocal coach for 20th Century Fox, until Darryl F. Zanuck fired him because vocal coaching was "a luxury, and we're cutting out those luxuries", and told him he should write songs, because "that's forever". Styne established his own dance band, which brought him to the notice of Hollywood, where he was championed by Frank Sinatra and where he began a collaboration with lyricist Sammy Cahn. He and Cahn wrote many songs for the movies, including "It's Been a Long, Long Time" (No. 1 for three weeks for Harry James and His Orchestra in 1945), "Five Minutes More," and the Oscar-winning title song for Three Coins in the Fountain (1954). He collaborated on the score for the 1955 musical film My Sister Eileen with Leo Robin. Ten of his songs were nominated for the Oscar, many written with Cahn, including "I've Heard That Song Before" (No. 1 for 13 weeks for Harry James and His Orchestra in 1943), "I'll Walk Alone", "It's Magic" (a No. 2 hit for Doris Day in 1948), and "I Fall In Love Too Easily".

20th Century Fox American film studio

Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation is an American film studio that is a subsidiary of Walt Disney Studios, a division of The Walt Disney Company. The studio is located on its namesake studio lot in the Century City area of Los Angeles.

Darryl F. Zanuck American film producer

Darryl Francis Zanuck was an American film producer and studio executive; he earlier contributed stories for films starting in the silent era. He played a major part in the Hollywood studio system as one of its longest survivors. He earned three Academy Awards as producer for Best Picture during his tenure, but was responsible for many more.

Frank Sinatra American singer, actor, and producer

Francis Albert Sinatra was an American singer, actor and producer who was one of the most popular and influential musical artists of the 20th century. He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 150 million records worldwide.

In 1947, Styne wrote his first score for a Broadway musical, High Button Shoes , with Cahn, and over the next several decades wrote the scores for many Broadway shows, most notably Gentlemen Prefer Blondes , Peter Pan (additional music), Bells Are Ringing , Gypsy , Do Re Mi , Funny Girl , Lorelei , Sugar (with a story based on the movie Some Like It Hot , but all new music), and the Tony-winning Hallelujah, Baby! .

<i>High Button Shoes</i> musical

High Button Shoes is a 1947 musical with music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Sammy Cahn and book by George Abbott and Stephen Longstreet. It was based on the semi-autobiographical 1946 novel The Sisters Liked Them Handsome by Stephen Longstreet. The story concerns the comic entanglements of the Longstreet family with two con men in Atlantic City.

<i>Gentlemen Prefer Blondes</i> (musical) musical

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is a musical with a book by Joseph Fields and Anita Loos, lyrics by Leo Robin, and music by Jule Styne, based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Loos. The story involves an American woman's voyage to Paris to perform in a nightclub.

<i>Peter Pan</i> (1954 musical) 1954 musical adaptation

Peter Pan is a musical based on J. M. Barrie's 1904 play Peter Pan and Barrie's own novelization of it, Peter and Wendy. The music is mostly by Mark "Moose" Charlap, with additional music by Jule Styne, and most of the lyrics were written by Carolyn Leigh, with additional lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green.

Styne wrote original music for the short-lived, themed amusement park Freedomland U.S.A. which opened on June 19, 1960.

Amusement park park with rides and attractions

An amusement park is a park that features various attractions, such as rides and games, as well as other events for entertainment purposes. A theme park is a type of amusement park that bases its structures and attractions around a central theme, often featuring multiple areas with different themes. Unlike temporary and mobile funfairs and carnivals, amusement parks are stationary and built for long-lasting operation. They are more elaborate than city parks and playgrounds, usually providing attractions that cater to a variety of age groups. While amusement parks often contain themed areas, theme parks place a heavier focus with more intricately-designed themes that revolve around a particular subject or group of subjects.

Freedomland U.S.A. was a short-lived, American history-themed amusement park in the Baychester area in the northeastern part of the Bronx borough in New York City. Its slogan was "The World's Largest Entertainment Center".

His collaborators included Sammy Cahn, Leo Robin, Betty Comden and Adolph Green, Stephen Sondheim, and Bob Merrill. Carol Channing was the lead in many of his musicals.

He was the subject of This Is Your Life for British television in 1978 when he was surprised by Eamonn Andrews in New York's Time Square.

Styne died of heart failure in New York City at the age of 88. [5] His archive - including original hand-written compositions, letters, and production materials - is housed at the Harry Ransom Center. [6]

Awards

Styne was elected to the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1972 [7] and the American Theatre Hall of Fame in 1981, [8] and he was a recipient of a Drama Desk Special Award and the Kennedy Center Honors in 1990. Additionally, Styne won the 1955 Oscar for Best Music, Original Song for "Three Coins in the Fountain", and "Hallelujah, Baby!" won the 1968 Tony Award for Best Original Score.

Songs

A selection of the many songs that Styne wrote:

Credits

Related Research Articles

<i>Funny Girl</i> (musical) musical

Funny Girl is a 1963 musical with a book by Isobel Lennart, music by Jule Styne, and lyrics by Bob Merrill. The semi-biographical plot is based on the life and career of Broadway star, film actress and comedian Fanny Brice featuring her stormy relationship with entrepreneur and gambler Nick Arnstein. Its original title was My Man.

Carol Channing American actress

Carol Elaine Channing was an American actress, singer, dancer, and comedian, known for starring in Broadway and film musicals. Her characters usually radiated a fervent expressiveness and an easily identifiable voice, whether singing or for comedic effect.

Sammy Cahn American lyricist, songwriter, musician

Sammy Cahn was an American lyricist, songwriter and musician. He is best known for his romantic lyrics to films and Broadway songs, as well as stand-alone songs premiered by recording companies in the Greater Los Angeles Area. He and his collaborators had a series of hit recordings with Frank Sinatra during the singer's tenure at Capitol Records, but also enjoyed hits with Dean Martin, Doris Day and many others. He played the piano and violin. He won an Oscar 4 times for his songs, including the popular song "Three Coins in the Fountain".

<i>Gentlemen Prefer Blondes</i> (1953 film) 1953 film by Howard Hawks

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is a 1953 American musical comedy film based on the 1949 stage musical of the same name. It was directed by Howard Hawks and stars Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe, with Charles Coburn, Elliott Reid, Tommy Noonan, George Winslow, Taylor Holmes and Norma Varden in supporting roles.

Leo Robin was an American composer, lyricist and songwriter. He is probably best known for collaborating with Ralph Rainger on the 1938 Oscar-winning song "Thanks for the Memory", sung by Bob Hope and Shirley Ross in the film The Big Broadcast of 1938.

Bob Merrill was an American songwriter, theatrical composer, lyricist, and screenwriter. He was the most successful songwriter of the 1950s on the US and UK Singles Chart. He wrote musicals for the Broadway stage, including Carnival! and Funny Girl (lyrics).

People (Barbra Streisand song) song written for the Broadway musical Funny Girl (1964)

"People" is a song composed by Jule Styne with lyrics by Bob Merrill for the 1964 Broadway musical Funny Girl starring Barbra Streisand, who introduced the song. The song was released as a single in 1964 with "I Am Woman", a solo version of "You Are Woman, I Am Man", also from Funny Girl.

<i>People</i> (Barbra Streisand album) 1964 studio album by Barbra Streisand

People is the title of Barbra Streisand's fourth solo studio album which was released in September 1964. The title track was a newly recorded version of the hit song from the Broadway musical Funny Girl in which Streisand starred.

"Everything's Coming Up Roses" is a song from the 1959 Broadway musical Gypsy, with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and music by Jule Styne. Introduced in the musical's inaugural production by Ethel Merman, "Everything's Coming Up Roses" became one of Merman's signature songs.

Joseph Albert Fields was an American playwright, theatre director, screenwriter, and film producer.

<i>A Party with Betty Comden and Adolph Green</i> musical

A Party with Betty Comden and Adolph Green is a musical revue with a book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green and music by Leonard Bernstein, Jule Styne, André Previn, Saul Chaplin, and Roger Edens.

<i>Funny Girl</i> (film) 1968 film by William Wyler

Funny Girl, the film, is a 1968 American biographical romantic musical comedy-drama film directed by William Wyler. The screenplay by Isobel Lennart was adapted from her book for the eponymous stage musical. It is loosely based on the life and career of Broadway and film star and comedian Fanny Brice and her stormy relationship with entrepreneur and gambler Nicky Arnstein.

<i>Lorelei</i> (musical) musical

Lorelei is a musical with a book by Kenny Solms and Gail Parent, lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, and music by Jule Styne. It is a revision of the Joseph Fields-Anita Loos book for the 1949 production Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and includes many of the Jule Styne-Leo Robin songs written for the original.

"Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out to Dry" is a 1944 torch song and jazz standard, with music by Jule Styne and lyrics by Sammy Cahn. It was introduced on stage by film star Jane Withers in the show Glad To See You, which closed in Boston and never opened on Broadway. Styne and Cahn had previously written songs for several of Withers' films.

Jamie Ross is a Scottish-American actor, best known for his work on Broadway.

Milton Rosenstock was an American conductor, composer, and arranger. Trained at the Juilliard School, he was highly active as a musical director for Broadway musicals from 1942 through 1980; serving in that capacity for 29 productions, including the original productions of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1949), Can-Can (1953), Bells Are Ringing (1956), Stop the World – I Want to Get Off (1962), Oliver! (1963), Funny Girl (1964), and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1972). He also composed the music for the 1973 revue Nash at Nine and worked as musical supervisor for the 1989 production of Meet Me in St. Louis; the latter of which was his last project on Broadway. In 1948 he won the Tony Award for Best Conductor and Musical Director for Finian's Rainbow. He was nominated twice more for that award: for The Vamp (1956) and the original Broadway production of Gypsy (1960). He served as the music director of the Lyric Chamber Theater during the 1960s and was the music director of the American Ballet Theatre during the late 1960s. From 1981 until his death eleven years later of heart disease he was principal conductor of the Dance Theatre of Harlem.

<i>Coleman Hawkins Plays Make Someone Happy from Do Re Mi</i> 1962 studio album by Coleman Hawkins

Coleman Hawkins Plays Make Someone Happy from Do Re Mi is an album by saxophonist Coleman Hawkins featuring tracks from the broadway musicals which was recorded in 1962 and released on the Moodsville label.

<i>Broadway</i> (Johnny Mathis album) 2012 studio album by Johnny Mathis

Broadway is an album by American pop singer Johnny Mathis that was recorded in 1964 but not released by his then record label Mercury Records. The project first became commercially available on August 28, 2012, when Sony Music Entertainment released it as one of two albums on one compact disc, the other album being his 1965 LP Love Is Everything. Broadway was also included in Sony's Mathis box set The Complete Global Albums Collection, which was released on November 17, 2014.

<i>In a Broadway Bag (Mame)</i> 1966 studio album by Bobby Darin

In a Broadway Bag (Mame) is an album by American singer Bobby Darin, released in 1965.

References

  1. 1 2 Gilliland, John (1994). Pop Chronicles the 40s: The Lively Story of Pop Music in the 40s (audiobook). ISBN   978-1-55935-147-8. OCLC   31611854. Tape 3, side A.
  2. Bloom, Nate (December 22, 2014). "All those Holiday/Christmas Songs: So Many Jewish Songwriters!". Jewish World Review.
  3. Steyn, Mark (April 29, 2018). "I've Heard That Song Before". Steyn Online. Retrieved April 30, 2018.
  4. "Songwriters Jule Styne, Martin Charnin, Charles Strouse, Walter Bishop, Sr." on YouTube
  5. Blau, Eleanor (21 September 1994). "Jule Styne, Bountiful Creator of Song Favorites, Dies at 88". The New York Times .
  6. "Jule Styne: An Inventory of His Collection at the Harry Ransom Center". norman.hrc.utexas.edu. Retrieved 2017-04-27.
  7. Jule Styne at the Songwriters Hall of Fame
  8. "26 Elected to the Theater Hall of Fame; 26 From Broadway Voted into Theater Hall of Fame". The New York Times . 3 March 1981.
  9. Gilliland 1994, tape 1, side A.
  10. "Some Like It Hot: The Musical". Archived from the original on 3 July 2003. Retrieved 30 October 2015.