Ohl, Vicki 1950–
Ohl, Vicki 1950–
PERSONAL: Born 1950. Education: Bowling Green State University, Ph.D.
ADDRESSES: Office—Department of Music, Heidel-berg College CNIT, 310 E. Market St., Tiffin, OH 44883-2462. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Heidelberg College, Tiffin, OH, piano and music theory faculty member and faculty coordinator for honors program.
SIDELIGHTS: Piano and music theory teacher Vicki Ohl took on as her first subject for a book Katharine "Kay" Swift, who is often remembered for her association with George Gershwin. Swift was Gersh-win's dearest love interest, though they never married, and after the famous composer's death, Swift maintained his papers and helped keep his legacy alive. What many people have forgotten, however, was that Swift was a gifted composer in her own right. As the author of the 1930's Fine & Dandy, she was also the first woman to compose a full-scale Broadway musical. In addition, she penned the popular song "Can't We Be Friends?" and was a prolific writer for ballets and scores for Radio City Music Hall and other venues from the 1920s through the 1940s. First married to a banker and then a rancher, she later penned the autobiographical novel Who Could Ask for Anything More?, which became the movie Never a Dull Moment.
Ohl's Fine & Dandy: The Life and Work of Kay Swift goes a long way, according to critics, to reversing the neglected memories of Swift's musical accomplishments. Although some reviewers felt that the book is a little too academic, resulting in a biography that is "meticulously, if rather dryly" written, as Boston Globe contributor Judith Maas put it, the work was widely appreciated. Ohl "deserves credit for bringing Swift back to our attention and for producing what surely will be the definitive biography," insisted a Publishers Weekly writer, while Bruce Schueneman concluded in Library Journal that Fine & Dandy is a "readable account of an important and pioneering American composer."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Boston Globe, September 23, 2004, Judith Maas, "Gershwin Lover's Tale Is a Rhapsody in Blue," review of Fine & Dandy: The Life and Work of Kay Swift.
Library Journal, May 15, 2004, Bruce R. Schuene-man, review of Fine & Dandy, p. 88.
Publishers Weekly, May 10, 2004, review of Fine & Dandy, p. 46.