Reinald Werrenrath

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Reinald Werrenrath (August 7, 1883 – September 12, 1953) was an American baritone opera singer, who also recorded popular songs and appeared regularly on radio in the early decades of the twentieth century.


He was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of George Werrenrath, an operatic tenor born in Denmark. He studied at New York University, and made his operatic debut in 1907 in Die Meistersinger.[1] He also recorded for Edison Records in 1907, before a long recording career with Victor Records. He sang on several hundred Victor recordings between 1906 and 1929, both as a soloist and as part of vocal ensembles such as the Orpheus Quartet.[2][3] His most commercially successful recordings included "As Long As The World Rolls On" (1907), "Hello Frisco!" (from "Ziegfeld Follies of 1915"), and "Smilin' Through" (1919).[2]

Werrenrath made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera in 1919, in Pagliacci, in a cast that also included Enrico Caruso.[1] He also toured widely, and made over 3,000 concert appearances.[2] He was one of the first singing stars to appear regularly on radio, notably on radio station WEAF in New York. In 1930, he made a private recording of Christmas greetings accompanied by Harpo Marx and others.[4] In 1932, he became a member of NBC's music staff, and in later years devoted himself mainly to teaching, at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, Maryland and elsewhere.[3] He also ran a regular summer music school at Chazy Lake, New York.[1]

He was married three times. He died in 1953 in Plattsburgh, New York, after suffering a heart attack while at Chazy Lake.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Obituary, New York Times, 13 September 1953, reprinted at Retrieved 15 May 2013
  2. ^ a b c Whitburn, Joel (1986). Pop Memories 1890-1954: The History of American Popular Music. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research, Inc. p. 445. ISBN 0-89820-083-0. 
  3. ^ a b Library of Congress: National Jukebox. Retrieved 15 May 2013
  4. ^ National Education Solutions: Alexander Woollcott, Harpo Marx, Reinald Werrenrath. Retrieved 15 May 2013

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