Pick Yourself Up: Dorothy Fields and the American Musical

Overview

Famed lyricist Dorothy Fields penned the words to more than four hundred songs, among them mega-hits such as "On the Sunny Side of the Street," "I Can't Give You Anything But Love, " and "The Way You Look Tonight." In Pick Yourself Up, Charlotte Greenspan offers the most complete treatment of Fields's life and work to date, tracing her rise to prominence in a male-dominated world. Born in 1904 into a show business family—her father, Lou Fields, was a famed stage comedian turned Broadway producer—Fields first ...

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Pick Yourself Up: Dorothy Fields and the American Musical

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Overview

Famed lyricist Dorothy Fields penned the words to more than four hundred songs, among them mega-hits such as "On the Sunny Side of the Street," "I Can't Give You Anything But Love, " and "The Way You Look Tonight." In Pick Yourself Up, Charlotte Greenspan offers the most complete treatment of Fields's life and work to date, tracing her rise to prominence in a male-dominated world. Born in 1904 into a show business family—her father, Lou Fields, was a famed stage comedian turned Broadway producer—Fields first teamed with songwriter Jimmy McHugh in the late 1920s and went on to a series of Hollywood collaborations with Jerome Kern, including the Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers classic Swing Time. With her brother Herbert, she co-authored the books for several of Cole Porter's shows and for Irving Berlin's classic Annie Get Your Gun. Fields's lyrics—colloquial, urbane, sometimes slangy, sometimes sensuous—won her high praise from later generations of songwriters including Stephen Sondheim, and her stellar career opened a path for other women in her profession, among them Betty Comden and Dory Previn.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This marvelously researched and highly readable book is the definitive account of Dorothy Fields's path-breaking career-and of its interactions with her famously accomplished family (Weber and Fields), colleagues (Rodgers and Hammerstein), and collaborators (Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin, Bob Fosse, Cy Coleman). Greenspan's thoughtful analyses, her lively exploration of historical mysteries, and her grasp of both Broadway and Hollywood from the 1920s to the 1970s make this chunk of Americana irresistible, both for song lovers and for scholars."-Rose Rosengard Subotnik, Professor of Music Emerita, Brown University

"Charlotte Greenspan's thorough research and thoughtful analyses provide insights into Dorothy Fields' wit, will, collaborators, and talented family, and offer a rich context for her works. It is a wonderful tribute to her indomitable optimism and enduring career."-Vicki Ohl, author of Fine and Dandy: The Life and Work of Kay Swift

"Pick Yourself Up is a lively chronicle of the career of a central but hitherto neglected figure in American musical theater. Greenspan's engaging study combines meticulous research with an insightful, revealing exploration of Fields's accomplishments as a lyricist."-Paul Machlin, Arnold Bernhard Professor of Arts and Humanities, Colby College, author of Thomas "Fats" Waller in Performance and Stride: The Music of Fats Waller

"Excellent contribution to the burgeoning literature on the American songbook."-Library Journal, Starred Review

"Thorough. Filled with wonderful anecdotes. Makes for good reading." -Jewish Exponent

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199958634
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 11/15/2012
  • Series: Broadway Legacies Series
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Charlotte Greenspan is a musicologist and pianist who has written extensively on music and film. She lives in Ithaca, New York.

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Table of Contents

Preface
A Note About the Lyrics
Chapter One: The World of Her Father
Chapter Two: The World of Her Family
Chapter Three: The Teen Years
Chapter Four: Marriage and the Start of a Career
Chapter Five: What's Black and White and Heard All Over?
Chapter Six: Give My Refrains to Broadway
Chapter Seven: Hello to Hollywood
Chapter Eight: Change Partners and Write
Chapter Nine: The Best of Hollywood
Chapter Ten: End of an Era
Chapter Eleven: Hollywood Through a Broadway Lens
Chapter Twelve: Librettos Instead of Lyrics
Chapter Thirteen: Up In Central Park
Chapter Fourteen: Annie Get Your Gun
Chapter Fifteen: More Movies
Chapter Sixteen: Colonial America and Brooklyn
Chapter Seventeen: Something Old, Something New
Chapter Eighteen: Sweet Charity
Chapter Nineteen: "It's Where You Finish"
Appendix One: List of Songs
Appendix Two: List of Theatre Works and Movies
Notes

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 22, 2010

    Well researched Enjoyed reading about Broadway

    A pleasant find

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2011

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    Posted October 12, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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