Even when he was still a child, Harold Rome learned to play the piano. After his education, he began to study at Yale University in New Haven law. On the side he played in the dance orchestra. But it was not long until he realized that he was not born to be lawyers. So he changed his field of study and from then studied architecture at the same university.
After Rome had successfully finished his studies, he moved to New York. A long time he struggled to find work in an architect's office, but no one wanted to hire him. Thanks to his great musical and literary talent, he succeeded, however, to keep on writing songs for various revues and vaudeville afloat.
1935 was offered to him to lead the venerable Jewish summer camp ensemble of Green Mansions. Rome accepted and did his job so well that he has been called back a year later to Broadway. The International Garment Workers' Union was planning to rehearse with talented young industrial workers and workers inside a revue. For this purpose, the union hired at the New York Princess Theatre and renamed it unceremoniously into laboratory Stage Theatre. Rome composed and wrote the lyrics. 24 laymen were rehearsing for a whole year at their leisure. On November 27, 1937, the revue Pins and Needles went for the first time on the stage. No prominent critic felt compelled to attend the world premiere of a amateur theater group. But what had dared to believe no one entered: The play was a great success. Still other 1107 performances to follow. No play on Broadway - not a professionally rehearsed - had previously been so successful.
At the age of 35 he was called up for military service. Until 1945 he served in the army. But the composing and writing lyrics did not let go during this time. The troops far from home had finally supplied not only with food but also with distraction at the bar are kept. Therefore he supplied eagerly Revue ensembles who went to the troops, on tour, with texts and songs.
After the Second World War, it took Rome back to Broadway. After another revues he brought in 1952 his first musical out, Wish You Were Here. Two years later, the musical Fanny, in which it was the first time he managed to write a standardized score with a very own handwriting. Not least thanks to the trained in opera singing protagonist Ezio Pinza, Walter Slezak and Florence Henderson was with Fanny the nearby opera house, not far away. This development should be determined by Harold Rome to continue yet, but he was the first one who had pushed open this door.
In addition to his activities as a musician and lyricist Harold Rome did not stop but, to be interested in architecture. He also worked as a painter, and in this profession he was anything but a dilettante. 1964 dedicated the renowned Marble Arts Gallery in New York his images is a great exhibition.
Harold Rome died at the age of 85 years of a stroke in New York.
- Pins and Needles (1937 )
- Sing Out the News (1938 )
- Let Freedom Ring (1942 )
- Call Me Mister (1946 )
- Alive and Kicking (1950, together with other composers )
- Michael Todd's Peep Show (1950, together with other composers )
- Bless You All (1950 )
- Wish You Were Here (1952 )
- Fanny (1954 )
- Destry Rides Again (1959) ( 1961 by Joshua Logan filmed )
- I Can Get It for You Wholesale ( 1962)