Edward Eliscu Papers
Scope and Content Note
The collection comprises 1.25 linear feet and two oversized boxes of material and is arranged alphabetically in one series. It consists of correspondence, clippings, scripts, lyrics, music, and other writings. The bulk of the collection are the production documents from entitled Rewind and Play. A Retrospective Revue of the Rimes and Times of Edward Eliscu , which showcased Eliscu's 60 years in the theater. Elicu personally introduced most of the songs and sketches in Rewind and Play to set the mood and to explain his lyrics.
Rewind and Play. A Retrospective Revue of the Rimes and Times of Edward Eliscu was performed at Western Connecticut State College in 1975. James Furman, of the music faculty, composed two new songs for the Revue: Handbook For The Virgin Voter, and Hey, Mr. Jefferson! with lyrics by Eliscu. Richard Reimold, of the Communications and Theatre Arts Department, directed the production.
Subsequent productions were called The Rimes and Times of Edward Eliscu performed in Connecticut at the Bethel Gallery, Cyrenius Booth Library, and the Westport White Barn. In 1989, another musical revue, With or Without A Song, was performed at Western Connecticut University. Eliscu narrated the show as well as performed some of the songs.
Eliscu and his wife, Stella, were concerned with local, as well as national issues, and took part in the Newtown Area Forum for Action (NAFA). Information on NAFA can be found in the clippings files.
Additional information concerning Eliscu's life and career can be found in the following:
- 1969-1998 , (Bulk 1971-1990)
- Majority of material found within 1971 - 1990
- Eliscu, Edward, 1902-1998. (Person)
Open for research without restrictions.
Permission to publish materials must be obtained in writing from the:
Ruth A. Haas Library
Archives and Special Collections
181 White Street
Danbury, CT 06810
Edward Eliscu, actor, lyricist, playwright, screen and songwriter, producer, and director was born in New York City on April 26, 1902.
Growing up in New York he attended public schools and developed a love for music and acting as a young boy. After receiving his Bachelor of Science degree from the City College of New York, he began his acting career in 1924 when he appeared in Quarantine with Helen Hays on Broadway.
In 1929, Eliscu produced his first Broadway score with composer Vincent Youmans and co-lyricist Billy Rose entitled Great Day! Hits from this score include "Great Day," "More than Your Know" and "Without a Song." Eliscu was also widely recognized as a talented playwright and screenwriter. His screenplays created the films The Gay Divorcee, Three Husbands and Out of the Blue.
Throughout his career, Eliscu collaborated with many composers including Vincent Youmans, Billy Rose, Jay Gorney, Henry Myers, John Green, Gus Kahn, Vernon Duke, Manning Sherwin, Richard Myers, Ned Lehac and Billy Hill.
In 1930, Eliscu began contributing songs to film scores as well as writing film screenplays. His most notable film score was the 1934 Fred Astaire vehicle Flying Down to Rio. The Eliscu song "Carioca" not only launched the partnership of Fred Astaire and his co-star Ginger Rogers, but also earned Eliscu an Academy Award nomination in 1935 for Best Song.
In the late 1940s, Eliscu was blacklisted by both the motion picture and television industries because he was a recruiter for the Screen Writers Guild, attended foreign films, and was seen buying a copy of The Nation (magazine).
Eliscu was president of the American Guild of Authors & Composers from 1968 to 1973 and later inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 1987, he received the ASCAP/ Richard Rodgers Award for his outstanding contribution to the American musical theater.
Edward Eliscu died in Newtown, Connecticut, on June 18, 1998.
- Songwriters Hall of Fame, (http://www.songwritershalloffame.org)
- ASCAP Ace Database (www.ascap.com)
- ASCAP Biographical Dictionary, 3rd Edition. Copyright 1966.
5.75 Linear Feet (, 4 boxes)
Language of Materials
Edward Eliscu, actor, lyricist, playwright, screen and songwriter, producer, and director was born in New York City on April 26, 1902. The collection consists of correspondence, clippings, scripts, lyrics, music, and other writings.
Folders are arranged alphabetically by topic.
[ORGANIZATION] The files are grouped into 1 series.
- Blacklisting -- United States.
- Cole, Lester, 1904--1985
- Dramatists, American -- 20th century -- Biography.
- Eliscu, Edward, 1902-1998.
- Furman, James, 1937-1989
- Lyricists-United States -- Biography.
- Screenwriters -- United States -- Biography.
- Scripts (documents).
- Sheet music.
- Guide to the Edward Eliscu Papers
- Unverified Full Draft
- Mary Rieke
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
- Language of description note
- Description is in English.
- Edition statement
- This version was derived from Edward Eliscu Papers.doc
Part of the Western Connecticut State University Archives and Special Collections Repository
181 White St
Danbury 06810 USA US