Vincent Millie Youmans

Vincent Millie Youmans

American composer and Broadway producer.
Date of Birth: 27.09.1898
Country: USA

Biography of Vincent Youmans

Vincent Youmans was an American composer and Broadway producer. He was born in New York City and grew up near the site of the legendary Mayflower Hotel. In his childhood, Youmans had plans to become an engineer and even attended Yale University for a while. However, he eventually dropped out and joined a brokerage firm on Wall Street.

Vincent Millie Youmans

Youmans' business career was short-lived as he was called to serve in the US Army during World War I. It was during the war that he discovered his passion for theater while organizing performances for the Navy. After the war, Youmans started his musical career by performing advertising jingles on Tin Pan Alley. He later joined Victor Herbert's operetta productions as a pianist.

One of Youmans' most successful projects during that time was the musical comedy "No, No, Nanette." The show was warmly received both in Europe and the United States, and two of Youmans' compositions, "Tea for Two" and "I Want to Be Happy," became genre classics.

In 1927, Youmans began producing his own shows. He achieved success once again with the production of "Hit the Deck!" In 1932, he released his final Broadway project, "Take a Chance."

Throughout his career as a producer, Youmans collaborated with several prominent songwriters of the time, including Herbert Stothart, Otto Harbach, Oscar Hammerstein II, Irving Caesar, Anne Caldwell, Leo Robin, Clifford Grey, Billy Rose, Edward Eliscu, Edward Heyman, Harold Adamson, Mack Gordon, Buddy De Sylva, and Gus Kahn.

Youmans' early compositions were known for their economical melodies, often built on repeated two-, three- or four-note phrases with slight rhythmic or harmonic variations. However, influenced by Jerome Kern, Youmans started writing more complex and free-flowing melodies.

In 1934, Youmans retired after 13 years of work. He returned to Broadway in 1943 to participate in the creation of "The Vincent Youmans Ballet Revue." The show was a bold compilation of Latin American rhythms and classical music, featuring Ravel's "Daphnis et Chloé." Unfortunately, the revue was a commercial failure, resulting in significant financial losses.

Youmans passed away in 1946 in Denver, Colorado. He left behind a large amount of unpublished material. In 1970, he was posthumously inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.