Hello Dolly composer has died

Hello Dolly composer has died


norman lebrecht

December 27, 2019

The Broadway composer Jerry Herman who wrote both music and lyrics for Mame, Hello, Dolly! and La Cage aux Folles, died yesterday, aged 88.

Jerry was unfailingly upbeat.

His greatest hits include I’ll Be Here Tomorrow, The Best of Times and Before the Parade Passes By.’


  • The American ‘Up Close and Personal’ concerts through the ASCAP Foundation were a once-in-a-lifetime masterclass in musical theatre and a wonderful expression of the humanity of this amazing songwriter and lyricist. Vale Mr. Herman. I will miss you.

  • Rob says:

    Hello Dolly – GREAT tunes.

  • Ruben Greenberg says:

    …a delightful man. a poet. Thank you for existing.

  • David Rohde says:

    “Time Heals Everything” is actually a song from the Jerry Herman musical Mack & Mabel. Your reference to great drama is perhaps a nod to the fact that Mack & Mabel has kind of a cult standing within his body of work. It was often said to be the composer’s own personal favorite among his musicals, and productions of the show are eagerly sought out by many people. Here in the Washington area it’s had several runs in recent years, one of which I was honored to serve and perform as music director. The overture to Mack & Mabel is one of the finest in Broadway history, and a slightly abridged version of it was used a number of times by the great 1980s British ice dancing team of Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean before they became especially famous for dancing to Ravel’s Bolero in the Olympics. Check it out on YouTube with perhaps a search on “Torvill and Dean 1982 European Figure Skating Championships.”

    The differing musical styles of Stephen Sondheim and Jerry Herman have sometimes been pitted against each other in debates about the direction of the American musical because they’re almost exact contemporaries, they both wrote their own lyrics, and there were times when their shows happened to come up “against” each other in the Tony Awards. Others may know for sure, but I believe it’s fair to say that the two men themselves didn’t feel that conflict, only their advocates, and they respected each other’s contributions to the musical theater.

    • willymh says:

      In a q&a session with Stephen Sondheim I attended several years back a rather persistent young lady tried to get him to say something disparaging about both Andrew Lloyd Weber and Jerry Herman. He very politely informed her that he had the greatest respect and appreciation for both. She pressed the point and he became a bit sharp but assured her that here was enough room in musical theatre for all three of them – and more.