- Billy Rose
Billy Rose (
September 6, 1899– February 10, 1966) was an American impresario, theatrical showmanand lyricist. He is credited with many famous songs, notably " Me and My Shadow" (1927), "It Happened in Monterey" (1930) and " It's Only a Paper Moon" (1933). Billy Rose was a major force in entertainment, with shows, such as "Jumbo" (1935), " Billy Rose's Aquacade", and " Carmen Jones" (1943), his Diamond Horseshoe nightclub, and the Ziegfeld Theatreinfluencing the careers of many stars. Billy Rose was inducted as a member of the Songwriter's Hall of Fame. After divorcing comedian Fanny Brice, he had married Olympic swimmer Eleanor Holm.
Life and work
Born William Samuel Rosenberg to a
Jewishfamily in New York City, he attended Public School 44, where he was the 50-yard dash champion. While in high school, Billy studied shorthandunder John Robert Gregg, the inventor of the Gregg System for shorthand notation. He became a world champion of using Gregg notation, taking over 200 words per minute, and writing forward or backward with either hand.
Billy Rose began his career as a stenographic clerk to
Bernard Baruchof the War Industries Boardduring World War I, and became head of the clerical staff. Later he became a lyricist. In this role, he is best known as the credited writer or co-writer of the lyrics to "Me and My Shadow", "Great Day" (with Edward Eliscu), "Does the Spearmint Lose Its Flavor on the Bedpost Overnight" (with Marty Bloom), "I Found a Million Dollar Baby" (with Mort Dixon) and "It's Only a Paper Moon" (with E. Y. Harburg).
Most of Rose's lyrical credits were collaborations. Biographer Earl Conrad said, "Nobody clearly knew what he wrote or didn't write.... Publishers tend to credit him with writing the songs known to bear his name as a lyricist.... But tales rumble on...that Billy could feed and toss in a remark and monkey around, but that others did most of the writing." Lyricists might have been willing to tolerate a Rose credit grab because Rose was very successful at promoting "his" songs.
He went on to become a Broadway producer, and a theatre/nightclub owner. In June 1934, he opened The Billy Rose Music Hall at 52nd and Broadway in New York with the first
Benny Goodman Orchestra. He produced "Jumbo", starring Jimmy Durante, at the New York Hippodrome Theatre. For the Fort Worth Frontier Days fair (1936/37), he constructed the huge elaborate dinner theatre Casa Mañanawhich featured stripper Sally Randand the world's largest revolving stage. He presented a show at the Great Lakes Expositionin Cleveland, Ohioin 1938. "COMPOSERS - LYRICISTS DATABASE - 'R' entries page 7", 2007, webpage: [http://nfo.net/cal/tr7.html NFO-tr7] .]
Rose was diminutive in stature. When he attended a show, his practice was to book four seats: one for himself, one for his date, and the two in front of those so he would have an unobstructed view.
In 1938, he opened Billy Rose's Diamond Horseshoe, a nightclub in New York City's
Times Squarein the basement of the Paramount Hotel. It initially opened with a version of his Fort Worth show. The Diamond Horseshoe operated under that name until 1951.
1939 New York World's Fair, " Billy Rose's Aquacade" starred Olympian Eleanor Holmin what the fair program called "a brilliant girl show of spectacular size and content". He married Holm shortly after divorcing his first wife, comedian Fanny Brice. Future MGMstar Esther Williamsand Tarzanstar Johnny Weissmullerwere both "Aquacade" headliners.
Following the 1939 World's Fair, Rose asked
John Murray Anderson, who had staged the "Aquacade", to recommend a choreographer for a new show at the Horseshoe. Anderson recommended Gene Kelly, then performing in William Saroyan's "One for the Money". Rose objected that he wanted someone who could choreograph "tits and asses", not "soft-soap from a crazy Armenian" (Yudkoff, 2001). However, after seeing Kelly's performance, he gave Kelly the job, an important step in Kelly's career.
In 1943, he produced "
Carmen Jones" with an all-black cast. An adaptation of Georges Bizet's opera " Carmen," the story was transplanted to World War IIAmerica by lyricist and librettist Oscar Hammerstein II. It was an instant hit. The "New York Telegraph" called it "far and away the best show in New York"; the "New York Times" said it was "beautifully done ... just call it wonderful." The "New York Herald Tribune" said that Oscar Hammerstein II"must be considered one of the greatest librettists of our day" and that "Carmen Jones" was "a masterly tour de force". It was made into a motion picture in 1954, for which Dorothy Dandridgereceived an Academy Awardnomination.
Billy Rose founded the Billy Rose Sculpture Garden in
Rose died in 1966 in New York City, aged 66. At the time of his death, his fortune was estimated at about $42 million, which he left entirely to a foundation named after him, disowning both of his sisters. He is interred at
Westchester Hills Cemeteryin Hastings-on-Hudson, New York.
From 1949 until 1955, Rose was the owner/operator of the
Ziegfeld Theatre. During that time, the theater housed four musicals and five plays. From 1959 until his death in 1966, he was also the owner/operator of the Billy Rose Theater. During that time the theater housed four plays, one musical, one revue, three ballets, and twenty-nine concert performances. After his death, the theater retained its name, and remained in the ownership of his estate until 1978, when it was renamed. Today it is the Nederlander Theater, currently housing "Rent".
Work on Broadway
*"Charlot Revue" (1925) - revue - featured co-lyricist for "A Cup of Coffee, a Sandwich and You" with
Al Dubin, music by Joseph Meyer
*"Padlocks of 1927" (1927) - revue - lyricist
*"Harry Delmar's Revels" (1927) - revue - co-lyricist
*"Sweet and Low" (1930) - revue - composer, lyricist, and producer
*"Billy Rose's Crazy Quilt" (1931) - revue - producer, librettist, and director
*"The Great Magoo" (1932) - play - producer
Ziegfeld Folliesof 1934" (1934) - revue - featured lyricist for "Soul Saving Sadie", "Suddenly", "Countess Dubinsky", and "Sarah, the Sunshine Girl"
*"Jumbo" (1935) - musical - producer
Clash by Night" (1941) - play - producer
Carmen Jones" (1943) - musical - producer
*"Seven Lively Arts" (1944) - revue - producer
*"Concert Varieties" (1945) -
*"Interplay" (1945) -
*"The Immoralist" (1954) - play - producer
*"The Wall" (1960) - play - co-producer
Ain't Misbehavin'" (1978) - revue - featured lyricist for "I've Got a Feeling I'm Falling" from "Applause"
*"Big Deal" (1986) - musical - featured lyricist for "
Me and My Shadow"
Fosse" (1999) - revue - featured lyricist for "Dancin' Dan ( Me and My Shadow)"
*Yudkoff, Alvin (2001): "Gene Kelly" p. 65 Watson-Guptill, ISBN 0-8230-8819-7
* [http://www.ibdb.com/person.asp?ID=16019 Billy Rose] at the
Internet Broadway Database
*"Billy Rose, Manhattan Primitive", Earl Conrad; World Publishing Company, 1968
*"Billy Rose Presents Casa Mañana", Jan Jones; TCU Press, 1999
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Look at other dictionaries:
Billy Rose — (* 6. September 1899 in New York; † 10. Februar 1966 in Montego Bay, Jamaika; eigentlich William Samuel Rosenberg) war ein US amerikanischer Liedtexter, Showgeschäft Impresario und Manager. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben und Wirken 2 Literatur … Deutsch Wikipedia
Billy Rose — William Samuel Rosenberg … Eponyms, nicknames, and geographical games
Billy-Rose-Kunstgarten — Der Billy Rose Kunstgarten ist der von dem japanisch/US amerikanischen Bildhauer Isamu Noguchi angelegte Skulpturenpark am westlichen Hang des Israel Museums in Jerusalem, Israel. Benannt ist der Kunstgarten nach dem Impresario und Lyriker Billy… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Billy Rose's Jumbo (film) — Billy Rose s Jumbo (1962) is a musical film, produced by MGM and starring Jimmy Durante, Doris Day, Martha Raye, and Stephen Boyd. It featured Busby Berkeley s choreography. It was nominated for the Academy Award for the adaptation of its Rodgers … Wikipedia
Billy Rose's Aquacade — was a music, dance and swimming show produced by Billy Rose at the Great Lakes Exposition in 1937.Later Aquacade moved to the 1939 New York World s Fair where it was the most successful production of the fair (Lowe). The Art Deco 11,000 seat… … Wikipedia
Billy Rose's Jumbo — may refer to: * Jumbo (musical) * Billy Rose s Jumbo (film) * Billy Rose s Jumbo (album) … Wikipedia
Billy Rose's Jumbo (album) — Infobox Album Name = Billy Rose s Jumbo Type = soundtrack Artist = Various artists Released = November 12, 1962 Recorded = Genre = Length = Label = Columbia Masterworks Producer = Reviews = Last album = This album = Next album = Billy Rose s… … Wikipedia
Billy Rose's Diamond Horseshoe — Voir Broadway en folie … Dictionnaire mondial des Films
Billy Rose's Jumbo — Voir La Plus belle fille du monde … Dictionnaire mondial des Films
ROSE, BILLY — (William Samuel Rosenberg; 1899–1966), U.S. showman. Rose was born to a poor family in New York. He acquired an unusual mastery of speed at shorthand, which during World War I won him a job with Bernard baruch . After the war, Rose decided that… … Encyclopedia of Judaism