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Vincent Youmans

Composer, Pianist

(1898 - 1946)

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Big Bands Database


Films at imdb.com
On Braodway at ibdb.com
Vincent Youmans was as esteemed in the ‘20s and ‘30s as his contemporary, George Gershwin. The son of a prosperous hatter, he left college to join the Navy at 17. The bandmaster, John Philip Sousa, encouraged his music and had every Navy band play Youmans’ “Hallelujah.”

In 1919 Youmans worked as the pianist assisting Victor Herbert in rehearsing singers, which he sites as an incredible learning experience. He wrote his first Broadway show in 1921 with young Ira Gershwin, Two Little Girls in Blue. By 1924 he enjoyed enormous success with No, No Nanette, which became the first Broadway show to tour the world, and produced “I Want to Be Happy” and “Tea for Two” with Irving Caesar’s lyrics.

In 1927 Leo Robin and Clifford Grey added lyrics to “Hallelujah” for Hit the Deck. The show also featured “Sometimes I’m Happy,” a song from a failed 1925 show, given new lyrics by Irving Caesar. 1929’s Great Day! produced “More Than You Know” and “Without a Song” with Billy Rose and Edward Eliscu. Two of Youmans’ most beautiful songs are “Time on My Hands” (1930), written with Harold Adamson and Mack Gordon, and “Through the Years” (1932), written with Edward Heyman. In 1933 he scored the film Flying Down to Rio, with its lively title cut, “Orchids in the Moonlight,” and “Carioca,” lyrics by Gus Kahn and Eliscu.

Youmans contracted tuberculosis, but he loved the night life and did not slow down, contributing to his early demise. His output was small, but each tune was expertly crafted.

- Sandra Burlingame

Youmans: Orchids in the Moonlight

Carioca: Songs Of Vincent Youmans, Vol. 2

Vincent Youmans, William Bolcom, Robert White [tenor vocal]

Through the Years

Vincent Youmans

I Want to Be Happy: 1944-1947

Teddy Wilson

I Want to Be Happy

Ella Fitzgerald

Tea for Two

Art Tatum

Tea for Two

Paul Desmond, Dave Brubeck

Sometimes I'm Happy Sometimes I'm Blue

Jimmy Rowles

More Than You Know

Lena Horne

More than You Know

Dexter Gordon

Time on My Hands: Arbors Piano Series, Vol. 6

Eddie Higgins

Tea for Two: The Songs of Vincent Youmans

Vincent Youmans
Reading and Viewing

At Amazon.com you can often buy used for a fraction of the new price

Gerald Bordman

Days to Be Happy, Years to Be Sad: The Life and Music of Vincent Youmans

Oxford Univ Press

Hallelujah!-Songs-Vincent Youman

Warner Bros Pubns

Anna Naegle, Victor Mature, Eve Arden, David Niven, Annabella, Tamara

No, No, Nanette (and Dinner At the Ritz)

Family Value Collection


Dolores del Rio, Gene Raymond, Raul Roulien, Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire

Flying Down to Rio

Turner Home Ent

DVD Scored by Youmans

Dolores del Rio, Gene Raymond, Raul Roulien, Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire

Flying Down to Rio

Turner Home Ent

VHS Scored by Youmans

Jane Powell, Tony Martin, Debbie Reynolds, Walter Pidgeon, Vic Damone, Gene Raymond, Ann Miller, Russ Tamblyn, J. Carrol Naish

Hit the Deck

MGM (Video & DVD)


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