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Lorenz HartA Poet on Broadway$
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Frederick Nolan

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780195102895

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195102895.001.0001

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Ten Cents a Dance

Ten Cents a Dance

(p.136) 19 Ten Cents a Dance
Lorenz Hart

Frederick Nolan

Oxford University Press

Charles B. Cochran invited Lorenz Hart and Richard Rodgers to do the music for a show which would star Jessie Matthews, now a major name in London. They sent the outline to Cochran, who loved it but told them that he couldn't get to it until after he produced Private Lives. Just prior to the New York opening of Heads Up!, Hart talked to a reporter from the Boston Herald about their changing approach to songwriting. It was laudable; but it would turn out to be entirely the wrong approach with Florenz Ziegfeld. If Ziegfeld believed Rodgers and Hart songs were finer things for finer audiences, he did a great job of concealing it. The story goes that one day he rounded on Hart and Rodgers. Before the afternoon was over, they had completed a plangent, affecting song about a downtrodden dance-hall hostess, “Ten Cents A Dance.”

Keywords:   Charles B. Cochran, Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers, Jessie Matthews, songwriting, Florenz Ziegfeld

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