Rida Johnson Young
Rida Johnson Young was an American playwright, songwriter and librettist. In her career, Young wrote over thirty plays and musicals, and over 500 songs. She was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970.
Young was born in Baltimore, Maryland. She was an actress early in her career with both the Viola Allen and E. H. Sothern Broadway (New York) companies before working for the music publisher Isidore Witmark. As a playwright, her first work, Lord Byron, was produced in 1900 by actor-producer James Young, to whom she was married from 1904 to 1910. He was later married to the silent film actress Clara Kimball.
Young wrote book and lyrics to the operetta Naughty Marietta, composer Victor Herbert's greatest success. Produced by Oscar Hammerstein, it opened at New York Theatre in 1910, ran for 136 performances and was frequently revived. A film version from 1935 was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. Her play The Marriage Bond was adapted into a 1916 film of the same name.
Further Broadway productions with contributions from Young include Barry of Ballymore (1911), Next (1911, a play), Macushla (1912, with music by Ernest R. Ball), The Red Petticoat (1912, with music by Jerome Kern), The Isle o' Dreams (1913, with music by Ernest R. Ball), The Girl and the Pennant (1913, a play), Shameen Dhu (1914, a play), Lady Luxury (1914, with music by William Schroeder), Captain Kidd, Jr. (1916), Her Soldier Boy (1916, with music by Emmerich Kalman), His Little Widows (1917, with music by William Schroeder), Maytime (1917), Sometime (1918), Little Simplicity (1918, with music by Augustus Barratt), Little Old New York (1920, a play), The Dream Girl (1924, with music by Victor Herbert) and Cock O' the Roost (1924, a play).
In 1926, at the age of 57, Young died in Stamford, Connecticut, after a long struggle with breast cancer.