SPEC Kit 333: Art & Artifact Management  · 139
Yale University
The Harold Rome Papers. Overview
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Yale Finding Aid Database : Register to The Harold Rome Papers
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lyricist. He won an ASCAP award for the song "Sunday in the Park" from Pins and Needles, followed by another for the song
"Franklin D. Roosevelt Jones" from the 1938 revue Sing Out the News (produced by Max Gordon, with sketches by George S.
Kaufman and Moss Hart, and songs by Harold Rome).
There followed revues, mostly sociopolitical, including Sing for Your Supper (1939); Streets of Paris (1939); and The Little Dog
Laughed (1940), a musical based on the book by Joseph Schrank. Lunchtime Follies (1942), to which Rome contributed several
songs, was a series of forty-five minute morale-boosting revues presented to workers at war-materiel factories. It included
sketches by George S. Kaufman, Moss Hart, and Maxwell Anderson, and was produced and supervised by Kurt Weill. This was
followed by Star and Garter (1942) and Let Freedom Sing (1942).
As a serviceman during World War II, Rome wrote songs for the army shows Stars and Gripes (1943) and Skirts (1944), the
latter done in collaboration with fellow PFC Frank Loesser. Rome's return to civilian life was the theme for his next revue, Call
Me Mister (1946), performed by former servicemen and servicewomen, among others.
That's the Ticket (1948), a musical based on a book by Julius and Philip G. Epstein, was directed by Jerome Robbins. This was
followed by four more revues: Pretty Penny (1949), with sketches by Jerome Chodorov and directed by George S. Kaufman; Alive
and Kicking (1950); Michael Todd's Peep Show (1950); and Bless You All (1950), with sketches by Arnold Auerbach.
Apart from Romanoff and Juliet (1957, play by Peter Ustinov with incidental music by Rome, directed by George S. Kaufman and
produced by David Merrick), and La Grosse Valise (1965, for which Rome wrote the lyrics), the final productions were the book-
musicals Wish You Were Here (1952, book by Arthur Kober and Joshua Logan, directed by Logan), Fanny (1954, book by S.N.
Behrman and Joshua Logan based upon the trilogy by Marcel Pagnol, directed by Logan and produced by Logan and David
Merrick), Destry Rides Again (1959, book by Leonard Gershe, produced by Merrick), I Can Get It for You Wholesale (1962, book
by Jerome Weidman, produced by Merrick), The Zulu and the Zayda (1965), and Gone With the Wind, which opened in Tokyo
as Scarlett (1970), went on to London (1972), and finally moved to Los Angeles (1973) to begin a United States tour.
In his book Show Tunes (1986), Steven Sushin describes Harold Rome's revues as having "sparkling comedy lyrics for everyday
characters, set to bright and fresh music," and his musicals as having "rich, emotional scores." This accounts for the tremendous
popularity of the shows and individual songs, as well as for their numerous performances and recordings. In fact, many of the
shows were vehicles that launched the careers of performers such as Jack Cassidy, Bob Fosse, Betty Garrett, Elliot Gould, Buddy
Hackett, Florence Henderson, Carl Reiner, Jerome Robbins, Barbra Streisand, and William Warfield.
Harold Rome died in New York on October 26, 1993.
Description of the Papers
The Harold Rome Papers include holograph, manuscript, and published musical works by Rome. These include vocal music,
piano works, and a string quartet as well as the stage works. Among the stage works are some that have never been produced.
Also included are scripts and lyrics, many of them in Rome's hand. There are production materials which include contracts,
royalty statements, and related correspondence. The correspondence, mostly from others, includes letters from many illustrious
friends and collaborators. There are numerous photographs of Rome and his stage and art works, including many slides and
negatives. Twelve scrapbooks containing programs, correspondence, clippings and photographs, have been disassembled and the
items assigned to the appropriate series. The clippings have been copied onto acid-free paper and the originals discarded.
The Papers also contain original art works by Harold Rome. An inventory of 75 oil paintings and watercolors appears in this
register. Approximately 128 cassette and reel-to-reel tapes and 158 sound discs (40 45s, 83 78s, and 35 LPs) were transferred to
Yale's Historical Sound Recordings collection.
A song index was compiled to indicate the shows in which songs appeared. The index also includes cross-references of variant
titles for a show. Cross-references also appear within the register and in the series introductions. The song index was compiled
for the general convenience of researchers. It is important to note, however, that not all of the songs listed there are present in
the Harold Rome Papers.
Boxes and folders are numbered consecutively, except for oversized boxes and folders, which are housed at the end.
The Papers were a gift of Harold Rome. They came to the Library in three installments: seventeen boxes of music in September,
1984; manuscripts, paintings, correspondence, agreements and contracts, programs, and sound recordings, on July 19, 1986;
and seventeen boxes of additional manuscripts, scripts, and sound recordings in February, 1988.
Arrangement
In 9 series as follows: I. Music by Rome. II. Scripts and Lyrics. III. Production Materials, Contracts, Royalty Statements, and
Related Correspondence. IV. Correspondence. V. Programs. VI. Art Works, Exhibit Catalogues, and Inventories. VII. Clippings.
VIII. Photographs. IX. Miscellaneous Items. X. Sound Recordings.
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