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Ted Snyder


Composer, Pianist, Businessman

(1881 - 1965)

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Ted Snyder (1881-1965) began his career as a cafe pianist and song plugger for music publishing businesses. He established his own publishing house in 1908 and produced his first song, “If You Cared for Me,” with lyricist Ed Rose. In 1909 he hired a staff pianist who would contribute lyrics to some of his songs before setting out to write his own melodies. The pianist was Irving Berlin. In 1910 the Schubert brothers hired the pair to introduce some of their tunes in a revue called Up and Down Broadway. While none of the songs sustained popularity, in 1913, when the company was reorganized, Berlin became a partner.

Snyder’s later collaborations would produce two lasting hits. For the Broadway revue, Make It Snappy, he wrote “The Sheik of Araby” with lyricists Harry B. Smith and Francis Wheeler, a tune obviously inspired by the success of the 1921 Rudolph Valentino film, The Sheik. While not performed as often as in past years, it has been recorded by jazz artists such as Tommy Dorsey, Jack Teagarden, Lionel Hampton, Bob Brookmeyer, Charlie Christian, Django Reinhardt, Oscar Peterson, and as a novelty tune by Spike Jones and His City Slickers. Two years later Snyder wrote his second big hit, “Who’s Sorry Now?” with Harry Ruby and Bert Kalmar. Guitarist Les Paul recorded the song as well as Dean Martin.

Most of the 90 songs for which Snyder is credited are no longer performed although some enjoyed timely success. “Moonlight on the Rhine,” written with Kalmar and Edgar Leslie, was interpolated into a 1914 Broadway show, and “How’d You Like To Be My Daddy,” with lyrics by Sam M. Lewis and Joe Young, appeared in the 1918 production of Sinbad, starring Al Jolson.

In 1930 Snyder retired from the music business, settled in Hollywood, and become a restaurant owner.

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