Maude Nugent

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Maude Nugent (January 12, 1873 or 1874 – June 3, 1958)[1] was an American singer and composer.

Maude Nugent was born in Brooklyn, New York.[1] She became a vaudeville singer, singing at venues like The Abbey[2] and Tony Pastor's.[3][4]

Maud /Maude Nugent ca. 1897 from a theater magazine ad

In 1896, she composed and wrote the lyrics to "Sweet Rosie O'Grady", which became one of the most popular waltz standards of the time. The song was initially rejected when she tried to sell it to Tin Pan Alley publisher Joseph W. Stern & Co.; Stern's partner Edward Marks recounted that they changed their minds as soon as she left their office to market it elsewhere, and he chased her down the street to make an offer.[2][5] The sheet music for the song sold over million copies.[6] In 1899 it was recorded by Lil Hawthorne for Berliner Gramophone.

Nugent continued to compose songs for a number of years, but none approached the success of "Rosie O'Grady". Nugent performed her own songs, introducing many of them to audiences in this manner. Occasionally she collaborated with her husband, fellow-songwriter William Jerome.[1]

Nugent retired from performing when she was 28 in order to raise a family;[1] however, she continued to write music. In the 1940s and -1950s, "Gay Nineties" revues came into vogue and Nugent began to perform again, on television.[1]

She died June 3, 1958 in New York.


  1. ^ a b c d e Julie Anne Sadie; Rhian Samuel (1994). The Norton/Grove Dictionary of Women Composers. W.W. Norton. p. 348. ISBN 978-0-393-03487-5.
  2. ^ a b Jon W. Finson (1997). The Voices that Are Gone. Oxford University Press. p. 309. ISBN 978-0-19-535432-4.
  3. ^ James J. Fuld (2000). The Book of World-famous Music: Classical, Popular, and Folk (5th ed.). Courier Corporation. pp. 543–544. ISBN 978-0-486-41475-1.
  4. ^ Armond Fields (2007). Tony Pastor, Father of Vaudeville. McFarland. p. 165. ISBN 978-0-7864-3054-3.
  5. ^ Michael Lasser (2014). America's Songs II: Songs from the 1890's to the Post-War Years. Routledge. pp. 10–11. ISBN 978-1-135-09452-2.
  6. ^ Joel Shrock (2004). The Gilded Age. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 192. ISBN 978-0-313-32204-4.

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