On the Team of Holt and Rosedale

A tribute today to a successful singing duo of century ago, the team of Holt and Rosedale, composed of operatic soprano Vivian Holt and mezzosoprano/contralto and pianist Lillian Rosedale (1887-1972).

The daughter of a New York lawyer, Rosedale was trained at the Damrosch School of Musical Art. She teamed up with Holt in vaudeville in the teens, and over the next three decades they performed on the circuits, on record and radio, and on Broadway, where they were in the shows Hello Alexander (1919), The Midnight Rounders of 1920, The Century Revue (1920), and Red Pepper (1922). Rosedale’s enduring legacy proved to be as a songwriter. Her most successful song “Cherie, I Love You” (which is now approaching 100 years old) was recorded in its day by Grace Moore and Annette Hanshaw, and later by singers like Nat King Cole and Pat Boone (and on occasion by Mel Blanc as Pepe Le Pew — Blanc shares a birthday with Rosedale, as it happens!)

Previously involved with Theodore Dreiser, Rosedale married lawyer Mark Goodman in 1921, becoming known as Lillian Rosedale Goodman. After the 1930s, she continued to write songs and to teach music and voice, with some high profile pupils like Betty Hutton and Jose Ferrer. Holt continued to sing and act on radio into the 1940s.

For more on vaudeville and the variety arts, please see No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous.