Jule Styne — Tribute to American Composers

Jule Styne (Julius Kerwin Stein. 12/31/1905 — 9/20/1994)

Jule Styne Best bW

With the scores of such Broadway classics as Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Peter Pan, Bells Are Ringing, Gypsy and Funny Girl to his credit, composer Jule Styne ranks as one of the undisputed architects of the American musical theater. He was born in London’s East End. Styne’s family moved to Chicago in  1912.

Jule Styne wrote:

I’ve led and exciting and hopefully a productive life. I’ve worked with some marvelous people, even a few creative giants, in both films and on stage. A few have been the best talents of our time. Any composer who could write for both a Sinatra and a Streisand in one lifetime is lucky.” Jule Styne.

At an early age he began taking piano lessons. He proved to be a prodigy and performed with the Chicago, St. Louis, and Detroit Symphonies before he was ten years old.

Barbra Streisand sings: “Don’t Rain on My Parade”

Funny Girl: Sydney Chaplin, Barbra Streisand, Jule Styne
Funny Girl: Sydney Chaplin, Barbra Streisand, Jule Styne

Frank Sinatra sings “Three Coins in a Fountain”

Styne attended Chicago Musical College, but before then he had already attracted attention of another teenager, Mike Todd, later a successful film producer, who commissioned him to write a song for a musical act that he was creating. It would be the first of over 1,500 published songs Styne would compose in his career.

Jule Styne, Angela Lansbury, Arthur Laurents, Stephen Sondheim: GYPSY REVIVAL, 1974
Jule Styne, Angela Lansbury, Arthur Laurents, Stephen Sondheim: GYPSY REVIVAL, 1974

Frank Sinatra wrote:

Jule Styne is simply the best there is at what he does — his song list reads like the history of American popular music. I’ve had the pleasure and privilege of expressing his marvelous melodies in many memorable films as well as the finest saloons around the world! Songs like “People,” “Never Never Land,” “Just In Time,” “The Party’s Over,” “Three Coins In The Fountain,” and my wife’s favorite, “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend,” are quite simply, timeless. There’s only one Jule Styne, and I love him. — Frank Sinatra

GYPSY with Ethel Merman
GYPSY with Ethel Merman (1959)

Styne established his own dance band, which brought him to the notice of Hollywood, where he was championed by Frank Sinatra and where he began a collaboration with lyricist Sammy Cahn, with whom he wrote many songs for the movies, including “It’s Been a Long, Long Time”, “Five Minutes More,” and the Oscar-winning “Three Coins in the Fountain”. He collaborated on the score for the 1955 musical film “My Sister Eileen” with Leo Robin. Ten of his songs were nominated for the Oscar, many written with Cahn, including “I’ve Heard That Song Before”, “I’ll Walk Alone”, “It’s Magic” (A hit for Doris Day in 1948) and “I Fall in Love Too Easily”.

Jule Styne (8 y/o)
Jule Styne (8 y/o)

Barbra Streisand wrote:

Is it that many years since “People”? Jule gave me the song to sing and it rang chords all over the world. I may never stop singing it, appreciating it and loving the man who wrote it. Thank you Jule, from a most grateful friend. Love you,
Barbra Streisand

Judy Garland sings: “Time After Time”

In 1947, Styne wrote his first score for a Broadway musical, “High Button Shoes” with Cahn, and over the next several decades wrote the scores for many Broadway shows, most notably Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Peter Pan (additional music), Bells Are Ringing, Gypsy, Do Re Mi, Funny Girl, Sugar (with a story based on the movie Some Like It Hot, but all new music), and the Tony-winning Hallelujah, Baby!.
His collaborators included, among others, Sammy Cahn, Leo Robin, Betty Comden and Adolph Green, Stephen Sondheim, and Bob Merrill.

Jule Styne Plays and Talks (With Michael Feinstein)

Jule Styne was elected to the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1972, the Theatre Hall of Fame in 1981, and became a Kennedy Center Honoree in 1990. On the occasion of his 25th anniversary in show business, the following tribute was read into the Congressional Record:

The lives of Americans throughout our land, as well as the lives of people throughout the corners of the world, have been enriched by the artistry and genius of Jule Styne.”

VIDEO: Jule Styne (Comments by Marvin Hamlisch BBC Radio 2 Interview, 1990s)

Jule Styne gave me my first job, and I’ve been learning from him ever since!! Nobody Does It Better! Love, and respect -
Marvin Hamlisch

A selection of the many songs that Styne wrote:

• “The Christmas Waltz”
• “Conchita Marquita Lolita Pepita Rosita Juanita Lopez”
• “Don’t Rain on My Parade” (from Funny Girl)
• “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” (from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes)
• “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” (from Gypsy)
• “Every Street’s a Boulevard in Old New York” (from Hazel Flagg)
• “Fiddle Dee Dee”
• “Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out to Dry”
• “How Do You Speak To An Angel”
• “I Don’t Want to Walk Without You”
• “I Fall In Love Too Easily” (from Anchors Aweigh)
• “I Still Get Jealous”
• “I’ll Walk Alone”
• “It’s Been a Long, Long Time”
• “It’s Magic” (from Romance on the High Seas)
• “It’s You or No One”
• “I’ve Heard That Song Before”[6]
• “Just In Time” (from Bells Are Ringing)
• “Let Me Entertain You” (from Gypsy)
• “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!”[1]
• “Long Before I Knew You”
• “Make Someone Happy” (from Do Re Mi)
• “Money Burns a Hole in My Pocket” (from Living It Up)
• “Neverland”
• “Papa, Wont You Dance with Me?”
• “The Party’s Over” (from Bells Are Ringing)
• “People” (from Funny Girl)
• “Saturday Night (Is the Loneliest Night of the Week)” sung by Frank Sinatra
• “Small World”, from Gypsy, which became a moderate hit when sung by Johnny Mathis in 1959
• “Sunday” with Ned Miller
• “The Things We Did Last Summer”
• “Time After Time” (from It Happened in Brooklyn)
• “Three Coins in the Fountain”, Oscar-winning song from film
• “Together (Wherever We Go)” (from Gypsy)
• “Pico and Sepulveda”

RELATED CONTENT: TRIBUTE TO AMERICAN COMPOSERS:


More Recent News more reviews


Team Marvin Hamlisch / The Music of Marvin Hamlisch