born on 28/12/1908 in Omaha, NE, United States
died on 25/12/1993 in New York City, NY, United States
Links digilib.nypl.org (English)
Ann Rosenblatt, known as Ann Ronell (December 28, 1906 or 1908December 25, 1993) was an American composer and lyricist best known for the jazz standard "Willow Weep for Me" (1932).
Ronell was, along with Dorothy Fields, Dana Suesse, and Kay Swift, one of the first successful Hollywood and Tin Pan Alley female composers or librettists. She cowrote Disney's first hit song, "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?" with Frank Churchill for the cartoon Three Little Pigs (1933).
She wrote the lyrics and music for the Broadway musical Count Me In (1942) She wrote songs for movies including Champagne Waltz (1937) and Blockade (1938) and wrote the scores for movies including the Cowan produced The Story of G. I. Joe (1945), the film adaptation of the Weill/Nash musical One Touch of Venus (1948), and the Marx Brothers Love Happy (1949). She served as musical director for Main Street to Broadway (1953). She was nominated for Best Song, "Linda," and with co-composer Louis Applebaum for Best Score, for her work on The Story of G. I. Joe.
Ronell was romantically involved with George Gershwin at the time she wrote her most famous song, "Willow Weep for Me" and speculation in the New York City composer community is that Gershwin actually wrote the song and gave her the copyright as a gift. However, this has never been proven and is still, at this point, based on the striking similarities in the song to the blues-inflected style of Gershwin.
She married to producer Lester Cowan. The couple had no children.
- Baby's Birthday Party (1930)
- Rain On The Roof (1932)
- Willow Weep For Me (1932)
- Who's Afraid Of the Big Bad Wolf
Work on Broadway
- Count Me In (1942) - revue - composer and lyricist
- The Crucible (1953) - play - composer for the "Lullaby"
- Blues in the Night (1982) - revue - featured songwriter for "Willow Weep for Me"
- Ann Ronell Papers, the composer's personal papers in the Music Division of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
- Ann Ronell at the Internet Broadway Database