27 Facts About Nathaniel Shilkret


Nathaniel Shilkret was an American musician, composer, conductor and musical director.

FactSnippet No. 587,337

Nathaniel Shilkret was born in New York City, United States, to parents who emigrated from Lemberg (now Lviv in Ukraine).

FactSnippet No. 587,338

Nathaniel Shilkret's father played a number of instruments, and made certain that Nat and his three brothers were all accomplished musicians at an early age.

FactSnippet No. 587,339

Older brother Lew Nathaniel Shilkret was a fine pianist who worked in the insurance industry.

FactSnippet No. 587,340

Younger brother Jack Shilkret had a career that paralleled Nathaniel's career: he played clarinet and piano, recorded extensively, and conducted and played piano on the radio and in motion pictures.

FactSnippet No. 587,341

The youngest brother Harry Shilkret was a medical doctor, who worked his way through school playing trumpet, and continued to play trumpet frequently in Nathaniel's orchestras, particularly for radio broadcasts, long after he was a practicing allergist.

FactSnippet No. 587,342

Nathaniel Shilkret was a child prodigy, touring the country with the New York Boys' Orchestra from the ages of seven to thirteen as their clarinet soloist.

FactSnippet No. 587,343

Nathaniel Shilkret was a rehearsal pianist for Walter Damrosch, playing for stars who included dancer Isadora Duncan.

FactSnippet No. 587,344

Nathaniel Shilkret joined the Foreign Department of the Victor Talking Machine Company around 1915, and soon was made manager of the department.

FactSnippet No. 587,345

Nathaniel Shilkret directed thousands of recordings, possibly more than anyone in recording history.

FactSnippet No. 587,346

Nathaniel Shilkret formed, wrote arrangements for, and conducted the Victor Salon Orchestra.

FactSnippet No. 587,347

Nathaniel Shilkret was the conductor of choice for many of Victor's innovative recordings.

FactSnippet No. 587,348

Nathaniel Shilkret conducted Victor's first record made by the electrical process in 1925, the first commercial Victor Long Playing record in 1931, and was the first conductor to successfully dub an electrically recorded orchestral accompaniment over the acoustically recorded vocals of Enrico Caruso, Victor's star recording artist, who died in 1921, before electrical recording was developed.

FactSnippet No. 587,349

Nathaniel Shilkret conducted Paul Whiteman's Orchestra in the first electrical recording of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue in 1927.

FactSnippet No. 587,350

Nathaniel Shilkret was one of radio's earliest stars, estimating that he made over 3000 broadcasts between 1925 and 1941, including being the conductor for The Eveready Hour, regarded as the first major commercial broadcast and the first major variety show.

FactSnippet No. 587,351

Nathaniel Shilkret's sponsors included Camel, Carnation, Chesterfield, Esso, Eveready, General Electric, General Motors, Hires Root Beer, Knickerbocker, Lysol, Maxwell House, Mobil Oil, Palmolive, RCA Victor, Salada tea and Smith Brothers' Cough Drops.

FactSnippet No. 587,352

Nathaniel Shilkret composed the theme song "Lady Divine" for the Academy Award-winning film The Divine Lady in 1929.

FactSnippet No. 587,353

Nathaniel Shilkret composed the theme song "Some Sweet Day" for the film Children of the Ritz in the same year.

FactSnippet No. 587,354

Nathaniel Shilkret left RCA Victor in mid-1935, but continued to record occasionally for the company.

FactSnippet No. 587,355

Nathaniel Shilkret's last recording released on the Victor label was the American Banjo Album recorded in October 1946.

FactSnippet No. 587,356

Nathaniel Shilkret moved to Los Angeles in late 1935 and there contributed music scores and musical direction for a string of Hollywood films for RKO, Walter Lantz Productions (one of the studio's musical directors during 1937) and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (as a musical director from 1942 to 1946).

FactSnippet No. 587,357

Nathaniel Shilkret received an Oscar nomination for his work scoring the film version of Maxwell Anderson's stage drama Winterset.

FactSnippet No. 587,358

Nathaniel Shilkret tried to involve Bela Bartok in the collaborative project, but this was unsuccessful.

FactSnippet No. 587,359

Nathaniel Shilkret worked at RKO-Pathe, making short films from 1946 through the mid-1950s.

FactSnippet No. 587,360

Nathaniel Shilkret was the pit orchestra conductor for the Broadway show Paris '90 in 1952.

FactSnippet No. 587,361

In 1951, Nathaniel Shilkret wrote the music for a brief documentary titled, The Flying Padre, that was directed by a young Stanley Kubrick.

FactSnippet No. 587,362

Nathaniel Shilkret lived in his son's home in Franklin Square, New York from the mid-1950s, until his death in 1982.

FactSnippet No. 587,363