Tin Pan Alley Girl

A Biography of Ann Ronell

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About the Book

Best known as the writer of the lyric for the popular Disney song “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?” as well as the American standard “Willow Weep for Me,” Ann Ronell was also a translator and orchestrator for operatic works. This biography traces Ronell’s life from her early days in Omaha, Nebraska, and recounts her marriage to producer Lester Cowan and her friendships with George Gershwin, Kurt Weill and the baritone John Charles Thomas. Includes more than 40 photographs, a chronology, family tree and film credits.

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 (7 x 10)
Pages: 211
Bibliographic Info: 46 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2009
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3905-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii
Preface      1
1. Omaha and New England, 1905–1929      3
2. The First Songs and New York City: 1930–1932      10
3. “Willow Weep for Me”: 1932      19
4. “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf ?” and Disney Studios: 1933–1935      23
5. Lester Cowan and Hollywood: 1935–1936      29
6. Kurt Weill and Blockade: 1937–1938      34
7. Martha and Opera in English: 1938–1939      40
8. The Gypsy Baron and Light Opera: 1939–1940      48
9. Ship South and Nicolai Berezovsky: 1941–1942      57
10. Count Me In and Broadway: 1942–1943      62
11. “Linda” and The Story of G.I. Joe: 1944–1946      73
12. Oh! Susanna and Stephen Foster: 1947–1948      81
13. One Touch of Venus and Forties Hollywood: 1947–1948      92
14. Love Happy and the Marx Brothers: 1948–1950      100
15. Main Street to Broadway and Tin Pan Alley Girl: 1951–1953      107
16. The Eisenhower Years and Political Songs: 1953–1960      116
17. Walt Disney and Who’s the Real Big Bad Wolf ? 1954–1958      120
18. Martha Revisited and the Metropolitan Opera: 1960–1961      133
19. Meeting at a Far Meridian and the Cold War: 1963–1965      140
20. Later Life and Career: 1965–1993      146
Appendix A: Chronology      151
Appendix B: Rosenblatt Family Tree      155

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “The 40-plus photos are wonderful. There’s a lot of gold here which makes it ultimately worthwhile. I learned a great deal about someone who should be remembered.”—Classic Images