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Vincent Millie Youmans
(September 27, 1898 - April 5, 1946) U.S.A.

Vincent Youmans



Youmans was born in New York City. He was a famous composer of popular songs throughout the 1920's and early 1930's. Most of his hit songs were written for Broadway musicals. Tragically, his career was shortened when he contracted tuberculosis and, in 1934, entered a Denver sanitarium. He was able to leave the sanitarium periodically, but his musical endeavors became limited.

While still a child, his family moved to a home in Westchester County. Youmans' father was the owner of a hat store chain. Vincent started his piano lessons when he was just 4 years old. He later attended private schools in Westchester including Trinity School in Mamaroneck and Heathcote Hall in Rye, N.Y. He then enrolled in Sheffield Scientific School of Yale University, but quit Yale shortly afterwards due to not having any interest at all in engineering. In 1946, he took a job in a Wall Street brokerage as a clerk.

During WW1, he served in the Navy preparing musical shows. He would often write some tunes for these shows. The song, later (1927) renamed Hallelujah, was a hit in the Broadway show 'Hit the Deck'. Upon his discharge from the U.S. Navy, at war's end, he embarked on a musical career. His first song was in an 1918 Broadway show.

It all started to unravel for Youmans when in 1933, he contracted Tuberculosis and entered a sanatorium in Denver, Colorado. After a while, he was able to leave and took up residence in New Orleans. He spent this time sketching ideas for new musical endeavors.

In 1943, he returned to New York where Doris Duke financed his ideas for a show called 'The Vincent Youmans Ballet Revue'. The lavish show featured modern and classical ballet, puppets, serious music, and rather elaborate costuming. It folded in Boston, and never did reach New York City.

In 1945, Vincent's health deteriorated and he entered Doctor's Hospital in New York. In 1946, he had to return to the sanitorium in Denver, until he died of tuberculosis. Youmans was 48. Youmans was elected to the Songwriters' Hall of Fame.


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