Alfred Baldwin Sloane

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Alfred Baldwin Sloane (28 August 1872 Baltimore – 21 February 1925 Red Bank, New Jersey) was an American composer, considered the most prolific songwriter for Broadway musical comedies at the beginning of the 20th century.[1][2][3]

His scores were first heard in amateur productions in Baltimore, where he grew up. When Sloane first moved to New York in 1890, he began interpolating melodies into others' scores and soon was invited to create his own. His biggest hit was "Heaven Will Protect the Working Girl," which Marie Dressler introduced in Tillie's Nightmare (1910), but none of his songs found enduring popularity.

He composed only rarely after 1912, but he did provide much of the music for the 1919 and 1920 Greenwich Village Follies. He wrote one of his musicals, Lady Teazle, for Lillian Russell when she was at the height of her national popularity. His last score, for the 1925 Broadway production China Rose, was in production at his death.[4][5][6] China Rose had been produced in Boston, Christmas Eve, 1924.[7]

Early life[edit]

Sloane, who at the age of 18, moved from Baltimore to New York City in 1890 intending to stay a month, stayed for the rest of his life. While living in Baltimore, Sloane wrote the lyrics and music for about a dozen so-called coon songs.

As a boy in Baltimore, Sloane was an apprentice at a wholesale dry goods dealer. His father, a scientist and dilettante musician, became alarmed at the thought of him trying to make a living as a composer. However, Sloane spent most or his time in the dry goods house composing songs on the backs of pearl button cards, shirt boxes, and price tickets. Sloane was fired from the dry goods house for wasting time making rhymes. While his father was trying to find another job for him, he organized an amateur company in Baltimore which put on a musical comedy of one of his compositions and drew $25,000 in five nights. Sloane showed his father the box office reports and opposition ceased. It was soon after that the boy quit Baltimore and approached New York with misgivings as to his own ability to offer one of his shows to Oscar Hammerstein. Hammerstein produced the show and Sloane never left New York.[8][9]

Executive positions[edit]

  • At the time of his death, Sloane was the president of Composers' Publishing Company and vice president of Authors and Composers Publishing Company.

Affiliations[edit]

He was a member of The Lambs, the Green Room Club, and Old Strollers.

Selected musical scores[edit]

New York productions

  • Peggy-Ann December 27, 1926 – October 29, 1927, Vanderbilt Theatre (333 performances)
  • China Rose, music by Sloane, January 19, 1925 – May 9, 1925
  • The Greenwich Village Follies of 1920, music by Sloane, August 30, 1920 – March 5, 1921
  • The Greenwich Village Follies (1919), music by Sloane, July 15, 1919 – January 31, 1920
  • Ladies First, Nora Bayes production, adaptation from Caroline Miskel-Hoyt A Contented Woman, by Harry B. Smith, music by Sloane, October 24, 1918 – March 15, 1919
  • Marie Dressler's All Star Gambol, music by Sloane, March 10, 1913 – March 15, 1913
  • The Sun Dodgers, music by Sloane, November 30, 1912 – December 14, 1912
  • Roly Poly / Without the Law (burlesque), music & lyrics by Sloane, November 21, 1912 – Jan 11, 1913
  • Hanky Panky, music by Sloane, August 5, 1912 – November 2, 1912
  • Alexander's Bag-Pipe Band, lyrics & music by E. Ray Goetz, Irving Berlin, and A. Baldwin (1912)
  • Hokey-Pokey / Bunty Pulls the Strings, music by Sloane, February 8, 1912 – May 11, 1912
  • The Never Homes, music by Sloane, October 5, 1911 – Dec 23, 1911
  • Hello, Paris, featuring songs by Sloane, August 19, 1911 – September 30, 1911
  • The Hen-Pecks, music by Sloane, February 4, 1911 – September 23, 1911
  • The Summer Widowers, music by Sloane, June 4, 1910 – October 1, 1910
  • Tillie's Nightmare, music by Sloane, May 5, 1910 – Dec 1911
  • The Prince of Bohemia, music by Sloane, January 14, 1910 – Feb 1910
  • Lo (musical comedy), book & lyrics by O. Henry (pseudonym of William Sydney Porter) & Franklin Pierce Adams, music by Sloane (1909)
  • Fascinating Flora, featuring songs by Sloane, May 20, 1907 – September 7, 1907
  • The Mimic and the Maid, music by Sloane, January 11, 1907 – Jan 12, 1907
  • The Great Decide, music by Sloane, November 15, 1906 – Dec 29, 1906
  • About Town, additional music by Sloane, November 15, 1906 – Dec 29, 1906
  • Seeing New York, book by Sloane, June 5, 1906 – August 18, 1906
  • Coming Thro' The Rye, music by Sloane, January 9, 1906 – February 10, 1906
  • The Gingerbread Man, music by Sloane, December 25, 1905 – May 26, 1906
  • Lady Teazle, music by Sloane, December 24, 1904 – February 11, 1905
  • The Wizard of Oz, music by Sloane, March 21, 1904 – Nov 25, 1905
  • Glittering Gloria, featuring songs by Sloane, February 15, 1904 – April 1904
  • Sergeant Kitty, music Sloane, January 18, 1904 – March 12, 1904
  • The Girl from Dixie, additional music by Sloane, December 14, 1903 – January 2, 1904
  • Red Feather, additional lyrics and music by Sloane, November 9, 1903 – April 1904
  • George W. Lederer's Mid-Summer Night Fancies, additional music Sloane, June 22, 1903 – July 18, 1903
  • The Wizard of Oz, music by Sloane, January 20, 1903 – Oct 3, 1903
  • The Mocking Bird, music by Sloane, November 10, 1902 – Jun 8, 1903
  • The Belle of Broadway, music by Sloane, March 15, 1902 – March 29, 1902
  • The Hall of Fame, music by Sloane, February 5, 1902 – June 4, 1902
  • The Supper Club, music by Sloane, lyrics by Sloane, December 23, 1901 – January 25, 1902
  • The Little Duchess, additional music by Sloane, October 14, 1901 – April 1902
  • The Liberty Belles, additional music by Sloane, September 30, 1901 – January 1902
  • The King's Carnival, music by Sloane, September 9, 1901 – October 12, 1901
  • The King's Carnival, music by Sloane, May 13, 1901 – June 6, 1901
  • The Giddy Throng, music by Sloane, December 24, 1900 – May 11, 1901
  • Madge Smith, Attorney, music by Sloane, December 10, 1900 – March 1901
  • Nell-Go-In, music by Sloane, October 31, 1900 – November 17, 1900
  • A Million Dollars, music by Sloane, September 27, 1900 – October 20, 1900
  • Aunt Hannah, music by Sloane, February 22, 1900 – Mar 10, 1900
  • Broadway to Tokio, music by Sloane, January 23, 1900 – April 7, 1900
  • Papa's Wife, additional music by Sloane, November 13, 1899 – March 31, 1900
  • The Queen's Fan, music by Sloane, lyrics by George Totten Smith, opened March 11, 1899, Frederick P. Proctor's 23rd Street Theatre
  • Jack and the Beanstalk (musical extravaganza), music by Sloane, November 1896
  • Excelsior, Jr., music by Sloane, November 25, 1895

New York productions (dates not known)

  • Mustapha

Baltimore

  • Midas (operetta), Albaugh's Lyceum Theatre (show was purchased by Edward E. Rice), February 9, 1895 OCLC 26835642, 773494615
  • Li'l Mose, music by Sloane, April 28, 1908 —
  • Mustapha, music & lyrics by Sloane, Pain and Powder Club, performed at Albaugh's theater, 1894

Filmography[edit]

Soundtrack

  • 1952: Somebody Loves Me, Toddling the Todalo lyrics by Sloane
  • 1940: Strike Up the Band, Heaven Will Protect the Working Girl, music & lyrics by Sloane (uncredited)
  • 1939: Frontier Marshal Heaven Will Protect the Working Girl, music & lyrics by Sloan (uncredited)

Writer

Self

  • 1914: Our Mutual Girl, Sloane plays himself (episode 10)

Selected sheet music[edit]

William Pilling, New York (publisher)

M. Witmark & Sons

  • Susie, Mah Sue, music & lyrics by Sloane (lyricist) (1900) – from the musical Broadway to Tokio
  • Lazy Bill, A Volunteer Of Rest, music by Sloane, lyrics by Glen MacDonough (1897) - from the musical The Marquis of Michigan

Joseph W. Stern & Co., New York

  • There's a Little Street in Heaven That They Call Broadway, lyrics by James T. Waldron & Sloane, music by Sloane (1903) OCLC 26005231

Charles K. Harris, Chicago

The Gingerbread Man (musical)
Book & lyrics by Frederic Ranken, music by Sloane (1905)

Family[edit]

Sloane was the son of Francis James Sloane and Emma Baldwin (maiden). He married Lucille Mae Auwerda in Manhattan on February 15, 1900. They had one daughter – June Augusta Sloane (1901–1984) – who married Isaac Hosford Brackett (1901–1976).

References[edit]

  1. ^ Oxford Companion to American Theatre The Oxford Companion to American Theatre, Oxford University Press (2004)
  2. ^ Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales The Oxford Companion to Fairy Tales, Oxford University Press (2000, 2002, 2005)
  3. ^ Who's who in New York (city and State), Seventh Edition: 1917–1918, by Lewis Randolph Hamersly, pg. 986 (1918)
  4. ^ Who's Who On The Stage – The Dramatic Reference Book and Biographical Dictionary of the Theatre, 1906 Edition, edited by Walter Browne & F.A. Austin, Walter Browne & F.A. Austin (publisher), New York (1906)
  5. ^ Who's Who On The Stage – The Dramatic Reference Book and Biographical Dictionary of the Theatre, 1908 Edition, edited by Walter Browne & E. De Roy Koch, B.W. Dodge & Co., New York (1908)
  6. ^ Who Was Who in America – A Component Volume of Who's Who in American History; Volume 1: 1897–1942, A.N. Marquis Co., Chicago (1943)
  7. ^ Christmas Eve, Boston Herald, December 23, 1924, pg. 6, col. 5
  8. ^ Rusty Lyre Muted, Alfred Sloane Dies, Dallas Morning News, February 23, 1925, Part 1, page 1
  9. ^ The actors' birthday book, Volume 1, by Johnson Briscoe, pg. 191 (1907)

Bibliography[edit]

  • Who's Who On The Stage – The Dramatic Reference Book and Biographical Dictionary of the Theatre, 1906 Edition, edited by Walter Browne & F.A. Austin, Walter Browne & F.A. Austin (publisher), New York (1906)
  • Who's Who On The Stage – The Dramatic Reference Book and Biographical Dictionary of the Theatre, 1908 Edition, edited by Walter Browne & E. De Roy Koch, B.W. Dodge & Co., New York (1908)
  • Who Was Who in America – A Component Volume of Who's Who in American History; Volume 1: 1897–1942, A.N. Marquis Co., Chicago (1943)
  • Biography Index – A Cumulative Index to Biographical Material in Books and Magazines; Volume 5: September 1958 – August 1961, H.W. Wilson Company, New York (1962)
  • Biography Index – A Cumulative Index to Biographical Material in Books and Magazines; Volume 6: September 1961 – August 1964, H.W. Wilson Company, New York (1965)
  • The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography; Volume 31, James T. White & Co., New York (1944)
  • Who Was Who in the Theatre: 1912–1976 – A biographical Dictionary of Actors, Actresses, Directors, Playwrights, and Producers of the English-Speaking Theatre, compiled from Who's Who in the Theatre, Volumes 1–15 (1912–1972), four volumes, Gale Research, Detroit (1978)