Vincent Youmans was certainly one of the leading Broadway composers of his day, writing with some of the best lyricists on Broadway, including the likes of Ira Gershwin, Otto Harbach, Oscar Hammerstein II, Irving Caesar, Leo Robin, Howard Dietz, Edward Heyman, Harold Adamson, B.G. DeSylva, and more. Today he’s pretty much forgotten, but in his short life he wrote several hit Broadway musicals that produced several standards of The Great American Songbook.
He began as a song plugger, then became a rehearsal pianist for Victor Herbert. His first Broadway musical as a composer came in 1921 with Two Little Girls in Blue, with Ira Gershwin doing the lyrics. “Oh Me, Oh My” from the show became his first hit. But his biggest hit and the show he will be forever known for was No, No, Nanette, written with Irving Caesar in 1925. It was a smash hit then and an equally big hit when it had a brilliant revival in 1971. That show gave the world two huge hits – the immortal “Tea for Two” and “I Want to Be Happy.” He also wrote the songs for the first Astaire/Rogers musical, Flying Down to Rio, which included another hit, “The Carioca.”
Youmans passed away from tuberculosis in 1946 at the much too young age of 47. In 1970, he was posthumously inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame.
Youmans left behind a lot of unpublished music, so he was a perfect composer for Ben Bagley’s Revisited Series. And Ben assembled a wonderful cast to perform a lot of undiscovered gems, including the one and only Dorothy Loudon, Cab Calloway, Mary McCarty, Gloria DeHaven, Blossom Dearie, Charles Rydell, and the most surprising choice, the brilliant actress, Maureen Stapleton. In addition to the fifteen songs from the original LP release, for the first CD release Ben added seven additional songs, with performances by Ann Hampton Callaway and the much-missed Mary Cleere Haran.
There are many delightful gems here and as Ben said himself, it’s “… a record that every phonograph should know.” The original CD release is quite rare and is pricey, so, as always, it’s a pleasure to make it available once again. As we’ve done for all these releases, we’ve considerably spruced up the sound for this new release. And the cover art is, of course, by the great Harvey Schmidt.
VINCENT YOUMANS REVISITED is limited to 500 copies.
1. Drums In My Heart - Charles Rydell and the Boys
2. Happy Because I’m in Love - Blossom Dearie
3. Mean Man - Dorothy Loudon
4. Come On and Pet Me - Mary McCarty
5. I Want to Be with You - Blossom Dearie and Charles Rydell
6. Say, Young Men of Manhattan - Cab Calloway
7. Keeping Myself for You - Maureen Stapleton
8. Oh Me, Oh My - Blossom Dearie and Charles Rydell
9. Rise and Shine - Charles Rydell and the Boys
10. I’m Glad I Waited - Maureen Stapleton
11. The Love I Long For - Dorothy Loudon
12. The One Girl - Charles Rydell and the Boys
13. Should We Be Sweet? - Dorothy Loudon and Blossom Dearie
14. He Came Along - Gloria DeHaven
15. Great Day (Grand Finale) - Dorothy Loudon and the Entire Company
16. I Want a Man - Ann Hampton Callaway
17. Who Am I That You Should Care for Me? - Dorothy Loudon
18. April Blossoms - Mary Cleere Haran
19. More Than Ever - Ann Hampton Callaway
20. Like He Loves Me - Arthur Siegel and Dorothy Loudon
21. My Lover - Ann Hampton Callaway
22. You’re Everywhere - Mary Cleere Haran