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Dorothy Fields

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  • Born: Allenhurst, NJ
  • Died: New York, NY
  • Years Active: 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s

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Biography All Music Guide

All Music Guide:

Oscar-winning American pop lyricist Dorothy Fields was the first woman to be elected into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, in recognition of her long and successful career of hit songs, movie scores, and Broadway scores that spanned the late '20s through the early '70s. She was born on July 15, 1905, in Allenhurst, NJ, and grew up in a show business family: her father was Lew Fields, of the famed vaudevillian team Weber & Fields. Dorothy Fields' most highly regarded collaborative work was that done with composer Jimmy McHugh; they were a songwriting team from 1929 until 1935. Throughout the '30s, Fields worked the most on film music. In 1935 alone, she wrote for seven different movies, four of which were co-written with Jimmy McHugh, including Every Night at Eight and Hooray for Love. Her credits for musical theater include Hello Daddy (1929), Singin' the Blues (1931), Stars in Your Eyes (1939), A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1951), Sweet Charity (1966), and See-Saw (1973). Fields also served as co-librettist with her brother, Herbert, for many Broadway shows, including Up in Central Park (1945), Arms and the Girl (1951), By the Beautiful Sea, and Redhead (1959), which won six Tony Awards. Fields most popular songs include "I Can't Give You Anything but Love" (1928), "On the Sunny Side of the Street" (1930), "I'm in the Mood for Love" (1935), and "The Way You Look Tonight," (1936) which garnered an Oscar. Besides McHugh, she also collaborated with a long list of esteemed pop composers, such as Jerome Kern, Fritz Kreisler, Sigmund Romberg, and more. Dorothy Fields died of a heart attack in N.Y.C. on March 28, 1974.