Rida Johnson Young

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b. 28 February 1869, Baltimore, Maryland, USA, d. 8 May 1926, Stamford, Connecticut, USA. Well known on Broadway as writer and lyricist, Young’s play Brown Of Harvard (1906, filmed in 1926), included…
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Artist Biography by

b. 28 February 1869, Baltimore, Maryland, USA, d. 8 May 1926, Stamford, Connecticut, USA. Well known on Broadway as writer and lyricist, Young’s play Brown Of Harvard (1906, filmed in 1926), included her song ‘When Love Is Young’. She wrote The Boys Of Company ‘B’ and The Lancers (both 1907), followed by Glorious Betty (1908) and The Lottery Man (1909). Next came Ragged Robin (1910), written in collaboration with Rita Olcott, incidental music by Frederic K. Logan. Young wrote book and lyrics for Naughty Marietta (1910), starring Emma Trentini and Orville Harrold, which ran at the New York Theatre for 136 performances. The music was by Victor Herbert and among the songs were ‘Tramp, Tramp, Tramp’, ‘Naughty Marietta’, ‘It Never, Never Can Be Love’, ‘If I Were Anybody Else But Me’, ‘’Neath The Southern Moon’, ‘Sweet By And By’, ‘Live For Today’, ‘I’m Falling In Love With Someone’ and ‘Ah, Sweet Mystery Of Life’.

Young wrote Barry Of Ballymore (1911, music by Chauncey Olcott and Ernest R. Ball), Macushla (1912, music by Ball, lyrics by J. Keirn Brennan), The Red Petticoat (1912), The Isle O’ Dreams (1913, collaborating on lyrics with Olcott and George Graff, to music by Ball), The Girl And The Pennant (1913), Shameen Dhu and Lady Luxury (both 1914), Captain Kidd, Jr. and Her Soldier Boy (both 1916), His Little Widows and Maytime (both 1917). The former, written with W.C. Duncan, was adapted by Firth Shephard and staged in London as Lady Luck (1927). The latter ran for almost 500 performances, and Young’s lyrics to Sigmund Romberg’s music included ‘The Road To Paradise’ and ‘Will You Remember (Sweetheart)?’, the latter the only song retained for the 1937 film starring Nelson Eddy And Jeanette MacDonald.

In 1918 Young wrote Sometime and book and lyrics for Little Simplicity, the latter’s music by Augustus Barratt. In the 20s Young wrote the play Little Old New York (1920, filmed in 1940), the musicals Orange Blossoms (1922) and The Dream Girl (1924), both in collaboration with Herbert, the latter including the song ‘My Dream Girl, I Loved You Long Ago’. Following Young’s death, Naughty Marietta enjoyed Broadway revivals in 1929 and 1931, numerous road and regional productions, and in 1935 a film version starred MacDonald and Eddy. Some of Young’s work was developed into films and she also composed the soundtrack score for Mother Machree (1928).