One of the most prolific composers of 1920s Broadway
Hungarian emigree was vaudeville pianist and song plugger
Composer Jean Schwartz was born in Budapest, Hungary on November 4, 1878. In 1888, the Schwartz family moved to the United States and settled in New York City. Schwartz’ early music education was with his sister and eventually he became a pianist in a Coney Island band.
In his early career, Schwartz worked in sheet music departments at various stores and then was hired as a pianist and song plugger for Shapiro, Bernstein music publishing firm. He performed in vaudeville with William Jerome and was an accompanist for Dolly Sisters.
Schwartz moved on to Broadway where he became one of the most prolific composers of the early Broadway era. His scores include Piff! Paff! Pouf!!!, Lifting the Lid, The Ham Tree, A Yankee Circus on Mars, Up and Down Broadway, The Honeymoon Express, The Passing Show of 1921, The Passing Show of 1923, When Claudia Smiles, Hello Alexander, Gaieties of 1919, The Century Revue, The Midnight Rounders of 1920 and 1921, Make It Snappy, Topics of 1923, Artists and Models of 1923, Innocent Eyes, A Night in Spain and Sunny Days.
Schwartz also contributed songs to the musical productions Hoity-Toity, The Wild Rose and Sinbad.
Collaborating with lyricists such as Harold Atteridge, Al Bryan, Clifford Grey, Grant Clarke, Sam Lewis, Joe Young, Milton Ager and Jack Meskill, Schwartz wrote such hits as “Rip Van Winkle Was a Lucky Man”, “Hamlet Was a Melancholy Dane”, “Since Sister Nell heard Paderewski Play”, “I’m Unlucky”, “Mr. Dooley”, “Bedelia”, “Goodnight, My Own True Love”, “Chinatown, My Chinatown”, “The Hat My Father Wore on St. Patrick’s Day”, “Back to the Carolina You Love”, “I Love the Ladies”, “My Irish Molly-O”, “Hello, Hawaii”, “Hello, Central, Give Me No Man’s Land”, “Rockabye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody”, “Why Do They All Take the Night Boat to Albany?”, “I’m All Bound “Round With the Mason-Dixon Line”, “My Yellow Jacket Girl”, “I’m Tired”, “Au Revoir, Pleasant Dreams” and “Trust in Me”.
Jean Schwartz died in Sherman Oaks, California on November 30, 1956.