Lyrical Satirical Harold Rome

A Biography of the Broadway Composer-Lyricist


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About the Book

Harold Rome was a composer and lyricist on Broadway, starting with Pins and Needles in 1937. His biggest hits included Call Me Mister, Wish You Were Here, Fanny, Destry Rides Again, and I Can Get It for You Wholesale and he continued on Broadway through 1965 with The Zulu and the Zayda. His early career, after two Yale degrees, featured songs of “social significance,” lyrics for the common man filled with satire. His later works were songs well adapted to the book musicals of the day, and his words and music became more lyrical.
Rome worked with Moss Hart, George S. Kaufman, Jerome Weidman, Joshua Logan, David Merrick and others, and wrote songs for such stars as Pearl Bailey, Ezio Pinza, Walter Slezak and Barbra Streisand (among many).
Politically involved, and left-wing, he attracted the attention of conservative organizations and the FBI. His song writing contributed to the home front efforts for World War II, as a civilian and then as a corporal in the Army. Showing yet another side, his paintings were critically praised and he amassed an impressive collection of African art.

About the Author(s)

Tighe E. Zimmers has been researching and collecting memorabilia about American popular song composers for over two decades. A physician in Chicago, his previous writings include numerous articles on emergency medicine.

Bibliographic Details

Tighe E. Zimmers
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 272
Bibliographic Info: 15 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7026-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0166-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi

Preface 1

 1. Early Life and Career 5

 2. Harold Rome and the ILGWU 10

 3. Pins and Needles on Broadway 17

 4. Kaufman and Hart and Sing Out the News 26

 5. Political Endeavors and The Little Dog Laughed 34

 6. Wartime Efforts 42

 7. Vernon Duke and Other Work 54

 8. Call Me Mister and the Revue 57

 9. The 1950 Shows 70

10.  Liberal Politics and the Right Wing 82

11. Wish You Were Here 85

12. Movie Work and Shows Gone Awry 94

13. Fanny 99

14. Destry Rides Again 117

15. I Can Get It for You Wholesale 127

16. Harold Rome’s Gallery and Artistic Endeavors 142

17. The 1965 Shows and African Art 149

18. Scarlett in Japan 162

19. Gone with the Wind in London and America 174

20. Later Years 187


A. Chronology 199

B. Songs 202

C. Song Recordings and Artists 215

D. Discography 216

E. Cast Recordings of Harold Rome’s Musicals 217

F. Chronology of Produced Shows 217

G. Chronology of Unproduced Shows 218

H. Movie Work 219

I. Political Endeavors 220

Chapter Notes 222

Bibliography 245

Index 253