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Noel Coward

Sir Noël Peirce Coward (16 December 1899 – 26 March 1973) was an English playwright, composer, director, actor and singer, known for his wit, flamboyance, and what Time magazine called "a sense of personal style, a combination of cheek and chic, pose and poise".

Coward attended a dance academy in London as a child, making his professional stage début at the age of eleven. As a teenager he was introduced into the high society in which most of his plays would be set. Coward achieved enduring success as a playwright, publishing more than 50 plays from his teens onwards. Many of his works, such as Hay Fever, Private Lives, Design for Living, Present Laughter and Blithe Spirit, have remained in the regular theatre repertoire. He composed hundreds of songs, in addition to well over a dozen musical theatre works (including the operetta Bitter Sweet and comic revues), screenplays, poetry, several volumes of short stories, the novel Pomp and Circumstance, and a three-volume autobiography. Coward's stage and film acting and directing career spanned six decades, during which he starred in many of his own works, as well as those of others.

At the outbreak of the Second World War Coward volunteered for war work, running the British propaganda office in Paris. He also worked with the Secret Service, seeking to use his influence to persuade the American public and government to help Britain. Coward won an Academy Honorary Award in 1943 for his naval film drama In Which We Serve and was knighted in 1969. In the 1950s he achieved fresh success as a cabaret performer, performing his own songs, such as "Mad Dogs and Englishmen", "London Pride" and "I Went to a Marvellous Party".

Coward's plays and songs achieved new popularity in the 1960s and 1970s, and his work and style continue to influence popular culture. He did not publicly acknowledge his homosexuality, but it was discussed candidly after his death by biographers including Graham Payn, his long-time partner, and in Coward's diaries and letters, published posthumously. The former Albery Theatre (originally the New Theatre) in London was renamed the Noël Coward Theatre in his honour in 2006.

Birth and Death Data: Born December 16th, 1899 (Teddington), Died Firefly Estate

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1925 - 1941

Roles Represented in DAHR: composer, lyricist, baritone vocal, speaker

Recordings

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BVE-34168 10-in. 12/21/1925 Poor little rich girl Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Victor BVE-48407 10-in. 11/28/1928 A room with a view Roger Wolfe Kahn Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer, lyricist  
Victor BVE-48408 10-in. 11/28/1928 Dance little lady Roger Wolfe Kahn Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer, lyricist  
Victor BVE-57156 10-in. 11/20/1929 I'll see you again Leo Reisman Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer, lyricist  
Victor BVE-57562 10-in. 11/29/1929 I'll see you again Leo Reisman Orchestra Orchestra, with male vocal solo composer  
Victor BVE-57589 10-in. 12/9/1929 If love were all Leo Reisman Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer  
Victor BVE-57968 10-in. 12/31/1929 I'll see you again Olga Albani Female vocal solo, with orchestra composer, lyricist  
Victor BVE-57969 10-in. 12/31/1929 Zigeuner Olga Albani Female vocal solo, with orchestra composer, lyricist  
Victor BRC-71206 10-in. 12/28/1931 Someday I'll find you Leo Reisman Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo composer, lyricist  
Victor BS-74968 10-in. 1/23/1933 Mary make-believe Greta Keller Female vocal solo, with orchestra (takes 1 and 2); with instrumental ensemble (takes 3 and 4) composer, lyricist  
Victor CS-75778 12-in. 4/11/1933 Program of Noel Coward songs Noel Coward ; Leo Reisman Orchestra Male vocal solo, with jazz/dance band vocalist, baritone vocal, composer, lyricist  
Victor CS-75779 12-in. 4/11/1933 Program of Noel Coward songs Noel Coward ; Leo Reisman Orchestra Male vocal solo, with jazz/dance band vocalist, baritone vocal, composer, lyricist  
Victor BS-81993 10-in. 3/31/1934 Zigeuner Nathaniel Shilkret ; Victor Salon Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Victor CS-82352 12-in. 4/26/1934 Three pieces by Noel Coward Roger Stearns Piano solo composer  
Victor BS-011696 10-in. 8/11/1937 Mad dogs and Englishmen Connecticut Yankees ; Gentlemen Songsters ; Rudy Vallée Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo and male vocal ensemble composer, lyricist  
Victor BS-030782 10-in. 12/30/1938 I'm so weary of it all Jack Leonard ; Tommy Dorsey Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer, lyricist  
Victor BS-030783 10-in. 12/30/1938 Never again Jack Leonard ; Tommy Dorsey Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer, lyricist  
Victor BS-031826 10-in. 1/23/1939 Zigeuner Artie Shaw Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Victor BS-037601 10-in. 6/7/1939 Poor little rich girl Larry Clinton Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Victor PBS-061987 10-in. 12/17/1941 Mad about the boy Lou Bring ; Lena Horne Female vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Victor BS-064011 10-in. 4/3/1941 I'll follow my secret heart Joe Reichman Piano solo, with instrumental trio composer  
Columbia W141272 10-in. 11/17/1925 Poor little rich girl Gertrude Lawrence Female vocal solo, with piano composer, lyricist  
Columbia W141273 10-in. 11/17/1925 Russian blues Gertrude Lawrence Female vocal solo, with piano composer, lyricist  
Columbia W141274 10-in. 11/17/1925 Carrie Gertrude Lawrence Female vocal solo, with piano composer, lyricist  
Columbia W147480 10-in. 11/22/1928 A room with a view Arthur Ross and his Westerners ; Marvin Young Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer, lyricist  
Columbia W147730 10-in. 12/26/1928 A room with a view Ben Selvin and his Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal trio composer, lyricist  
Columbia W147731 10-in. 12/26/1928 Dance, little lady Ben Selvin and his Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer, lyricist  
Columbia W149616 10-in. 12/24/1929 If love were all Fred Rich Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer, lyricist  
Columbia W149617 10-in. 12/24/1929 I'll see you again Fred Rich Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo lyricist, composer  
OKeh 73730 10-in. Oct. 1925 If love were all Bruce Wallace Male vocal solo, with instrumental trio composer, lyricist  
Brunswick [Br (U.K.) cat 178-a] 10-in. May 1928 Dance, little lady Fred Elizalde Music Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo lyricist, composer  
Brunswick [Br (U.K.) cat 178-b] 10-in. May 1928 A room with a view Fred Elizalde Music Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo lyricist, composer  
Brunswick E28892 10-in. 12/14/1928 A room with a view William Wirges Orchestra Orchestra, with male vocal solo; without vocal (take G) lyricist, composer  
Brunswick E17756-E17759 10-in. 2/1/1926 Poor little rich girl Gaiety Musical Comedy Chorus Mixed vocal chorus, with orchestra composer, lyricist  
Edison 18910 10-in. 11/30/1928 Dance, little lady B. A. Rolfe Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer, lyricist  
Edison 18911 10-in. 11/30/1928 A room with a view B. A. Rolfe Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer, lyricist  
Edison N-604 10-in. 11/30/1928 Dance, little lady B. A. Rolfe Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer, lyricist  
Edison N-605 10-in. 11/30/1928 A room with a view B. A. Rolfe Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer, lyricist  
Gramophone 0EA654 10-in. 10/25/1934 I travel alone Alberta Hunter Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo composer  
Gramophone 0EA655 10-in. 10/25/1934 Most of ev'ry day Jack Jackson's Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer, lyricist  
Gramophone 0EA657 10-in. 10/29/1934 Most of ev'ry day Noel Coward Male vocal solo, with piano vocalist, baritone vocal, composer, lyricist  
Gramophone 0EA658 10-in. 10/29/1934 I travel alone Noel Coward Male vocal solo, with piano vocalist, baritone vocal, composer, lyricist  
Gramophone 0B1163 10-in. 10/20/1931 Lover of my dreams Noel Coward Male vocal solo, with orchestra composer, vocalist, baritone vocal  
Gramophone 0EA1956 10-in. On or before 8/15/1935 Mrs. Worthington Noel Coward Male vocal solo, with orchestra composer, vocalist, baritone vocal  
Gramophone 0EA1957 10-in. 8/15/1935 We were so young Noel Coward Male vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, baritone vocal  
Gramophone 0B2231 10-in. 11/14/1931 Twentieth century blues New Mayfair Novelty Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer, lyricist  
Gramophone 0EA2652 10-in. On or before 12/20/1935 You were there New Mayfair Dance Orchestra ; Ray Noble Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer  
Gramophone 0EA2655 10-in. On or before 12/20/1935 The family album New Mayfair Dance Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with vocal composer  
Gramophone 0EA2686 10-in. 2/13/1936 Parisian Pierrot Noel Coward ; Clifford Greenwood ; Phoenix Theatre Company Male vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, baritone vocal, composer  
Gramophone 0EA2687 10-in. 2/13/1936 We were dancing Noel Coward ; Clifford Greenwood ; Phoenix Theatre Company Male vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, baritone vocal, composer  
Gramophone 0EA2888 10-in. 6/26/1936 Play, orchestra, play Roy Fox Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with vocal composer, lyricist  
Gramophone 0B3183 10-in. 9/1/1932 The younger generation Al Bowlly ; New Mayfair Dance Orchestra ; Ray Noble Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer  
Gramophone 0B3184 10-in. 9/1/1932 Mad about the boy New Mayfair Orchestra ; Ray Noble Jazz/dance band composer  
Gramophone 0B4207 10-in. 1932 Let's say goodbye Noel Coward Male vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, baritone vocal, composer, lyricist  
Gramophone 0B4208 10-in. 9/20/1932 The party's over now Noel Coward Male vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, baritone vocal, composer, lyricist  
Gramophone 0B4209 10-in. 9/20/1932 Something to do with spring Noel Coward Male vocal solo, with orchestra vocalist, baritone vocal, composer  
Gramophone 0B4210 10-in. 9/19/1932 Mad dogs and Englishmen Noel Coward ; Ray Noble Male vocal solo, with orchestra composer, vocalist, baritone vocal  
Gramophone 0B5913 10-in. 2/27/1934 I'll follow my secret heart Ray Noble Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Gramophone 0B5914 10-in. 2/27/1934 Nevermore Ray Noble Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Gramophone 0EA6282 10-in. 3/25/1938 The stately homes of England Ken Carter ; Hugh French ; John Gatrell ; His Majesty’s Theatre Orchestra (London, England) ; Ross Landon Male vocal quartet, with orchestra composer, lyricist  
Gramophone 0EA6428 10-in. 3/24/1938 Dearest love Noel Coward Male vocal solo, with piano vocalist, baritone vocal, composer, lyricist  
Gramophone 0EA6429 10-in. 3/24/1938 I'll see you again Noel Coward Male vocal solo, with piano vocalist, baritone vocal, composer, lyricist  
Gramophone 0EA8121 10-in. 10/19/1939 I'll see you again Webster Booth ; Clifford Greenwood ; Anne Ziegler Female-male vocal duet, with orchestra composer, lyricist  
Vocalion E2016-E2018 10-in. 12/31/1925 Poor little rich girl Selvin’s Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Vocalion 786-788W 10-in. 5/13/1925 Steppin' in society Selvin’s Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Coward, Noel," accessed October 24, 2020, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102403.

Coward, Noel. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved October 24, 2020, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102403.

"Coward, Noel." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 24 October 2020.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102403

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