Victor Schertzinger was born in Mahanoy City on April 8,1888, the child of musical parents of Pennsylvania Dutch ancestry. He grew up on 100 block of West Center Street at the site of the Pennsylvania Historical Society marker.
Victor showed musical talent from an early age, attracting attentiont as a violinist from the age of four. By the time he was nine years old, he had already performed with the famous John Philip Sousa Band and the Victor Herbert Orchestra. In his teens he attended Brown Preparatory School in Philadelphia and performed across the United States and in Europe.
As a young man Victor studied at the University of Brussels and soon became a symphony conductor. He began contributing songs to Hollywood films as early as 1914. He composed music for many silent films, including the groundbreaking film Civilization in 1916. During this time Schertzinger also began directing motion pictures. From 1917 to 1941 he directed almost ninety (90) movies and scored the music for fifty-five (55). In 1934 Schertzinger directed and scored the music for the film One Night of Love. The film was nominated for six Academy Awards, with Schertzinger receiving two nominations. One Night of Love won three Oscars, including Schertzinger's for Best Film Score.
Victor Schertzinger is probably best remembered for two songs that became popular in the movie The Fleet's In. These songs are Tangerine and I Remember You. Both songs have been recorded by hundreds of artists ranging from jazz to country. You can hear them and other Schertzinger songs in the Video Gallery below.
Peg Coombe holds the Oscar won by Victor Schertzinger as she leaves the ceremony which inducted Schertzinger into the Schuylkill County Council for the Arts Hall of Fame on June 28, 2006.
Doris Day sings I Remember You from her 1956 album Day by Day. (Music by Victor Schertzinger, lyrics by Johnny Mercer)
The Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra plays and Bob Eberle and Helen O'Connell sing Tangerine , also introduced in the film The Fleet's In . Sadly,Victor Schertzinger died in 1941 at the age of 53 before the movie was released in 1942.
"Marcheta" is the first of Schertzinger's compositions listed in the Internet Movie Database . It was written in 1913 when he was 25 years old and performed by many artists during the 1920's and 30s. This clip comes from the 1945 John Wayne - Donna Reed movie "They Were Expendable". "Marcheta" is heard in the background throughout the clip.
Click on the picture of Victor Schertzinger to hear a haunting version of "Sand in My Shoes" played by the great British jazz pianist Marian McPartland. Marian hosted Piano Jazz on NPR until last year when she retired at the age of 92.
Added January 11: He directed almost ninety motion pictures. He won an Academy Award for Best Score. He wrote the music for songs that are being recorded today by artists from jazz to country. And he grew up one block from the Historical Society.
Dedication of the Schertzinger Historical Marker
Pictorial project by Frank Selgrath
Click on the image to enlarge and/or view the slide show if you have the plug-in.
Victor Schertzinger Video Gallery
Click on the image to view the video.