November 25, 1900 - September 3, 1984
born in Brooklyn, NY, composed during the Modern period
Arthur Schwartz began his career in the once-popular genre of the Broadway revue and then moved seamlessly to musicals, then to film work -- including two films on which he served as producer -- and finally back to musicals. Among his better known musical revues were the 1930 Three's a Crowd, which featured the hit song "Something to Remember You By," and the 1935 At Home Abroad, both collaborative efforts with lyricist Howard Dietz. Schwartz also collaborated with Dietz on the Broadway musical Revenge With Music (1934), which contained two hit songs ("You and the Night and the Music" and "If There Is Someone Lovelier Than You") and Between the Devil (1937). Schwartz's later musicals included the 1951 A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, with lyricist Dorothy Fields, and The Gay Life (1961) and Jennie (1963), the latter two with Dietz. Though Schwartz's popularity faded after Jennie, renewed interest has arose in the 1990s, continuing into the new century with recordings by artists like Renée Fleming and conductor John Williams.
Arthur Schwartz was born in Brooklyn, NY, on November 25, 1900. As a child he played the piano and harmonica, but later studied law at New York and Columbia Universities.
During those student years he wrote songs and had piano gigs to earn extra money. He practiced law from 1924 to 1928. In the latter year he began writing the score to his first musical revue, The Little Show (lyrics by Dietz), which premiered with success the following year.
After Three's a Crowd, Band Wagon (1931), and Flying Colors (1932), Schwartz and Dietz turned to Broadway, but with less success, as Revenge With Music and Between the Devil had short-lived runs. From the late '30s through the war years, Schwartz worked in Hollywood on musical films like When Johnny Comes Marching Home (1942) and Mr. Lucky (1943), but with mixed results.
As a film producer he had somewhat better success with Cover Girl (1944) and Night and Day (1946). In 1949 he served as producer on three television episodes of Inside U.S.A. with Chevrolet. Though he would return to television production briefly in 1956, Schwartz's main focus from the 1950s was music: the aforementioned A Tree Grows in Brooklyn scored a success and the 1953 film version of The Bandwagon received an Academy Award nomination for Best Film Score. After his 1963 musical Jennie, Schwartz was largely inactive. He died on September 3, 1984. ~ Robert Cummings, Rovi