Youmans, Vincent

Youmans, Vincent,

1898–1946, American composer, b. New York City. He first began composing while in the navy during World War I. His first musical, Two Little Girls in Blue, with lyrics by Ira Gershwin, opened (1921) on Broadway. It was followed by such successes as Wildflower (1923), No, No, Nanette (1925), and Hit the Deck (1927).
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Youmans, (Millie) Vincent (Jr.)

(1898–1946) composer; born in New York City. Abandoning the chance to go to Yale and then a job on Wall Street, he went to work as a song plugger on Tin Pan Alley. After serving with the navy in World War I, he returned to work as an accompanist and composer. His music for Wildflower (1923), No, No, Nanette (1925), Hit the Deck! (1927), and Great Day! (1929) included such popular songs as "Tea for Two," "Sometimes I'm Happy," and "Without a Song." For the film Flying Down to Rio (1933) he also wrote such melodies as "Carioca" and "Music Makes Me." During the 1930s, his finances, marriage, and health all collapsed, although his music would always be played, and he never enjoyed much success after 1933. Said to have been the model for Abe North in F. Scott Fitzgerald's Tender is the Night, he died prematurely of tuberculosis.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.