Sunday, September 27, 2020

Vincent Youmans - Overture to No, No, Nanette

Every Red Sox fan recognizes the name of this musical.  The Red Sox sold Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees to finance this musical leading, triggering 86 years of baseball humiliation at the hands of the Bronx Bombers.

Except it seems that this isn't actually true.  Ruth was sold to finance a forgettable musical "My Lady Friends", not No No Nanette.  Presumably the latter was included in the "Curse of the Bambino" because it was one of the most successful musicals of the 1920s (Ruth's glory days in pinstripes).

Vincent Youmans was a young man whose plans of becoming an engineer were derailed when he was drafted into the Navy in World War I.  Rather than seeing combat, he found himself in charge of putting on entertainments for the sailors.  After the War, he became one of the "Tin Pan Alley" composers, penning this song along with collaborations with Ira Gershwin and Oscar Hammerstein among others.  He became one of the most successful composers for Broadway - and wrote all the music for Fred Astaire's and Ginger Rogers' first film, Flying Down To Rio.

Sadly, his career was cut short.  After only 13 years he came down with tuberculous and died at the age of 47.  You wonder what other music he might have written if he had been spared that fate.


libertyman said...

What a talented guy. "Tea for two"

Windy Wilson said...

That's the Army for you. Put an engineer in charge of writing tunes and song lyrics.