Harry B. Smith: Dean of American Librettists


Harry Bache Smith remains the most prolific librettist in the American musical theatre. He was the author of 300 libretti (123 of which actually opened on Broadway), including some 6,000 songs composed with some of the most notable composers of the day, including Reginald De Koven, John Philip Sousa, Victor Herbert, Ludwig Englander, Jerome Kern, Raymond Hubbell, Robert Hood Bowers, Sigmund Romberg, and Walter Donaldson. Between 1890 and 1930, his presence pervaded American operetta, musical comedy, and revue, and his influence on music theatre form was inescapable. A study of Smith's extraordinary career not only reveals the fascinating life of an ebullient workaholic but offers an important history of the American musical theater during its formative years at the beginning of the 20th century.

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • New York
Publication year:
  • 2003


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