Wilder, AlecAlternative names
Alexander LaFayette Chew Wilder was born on February 16, 1907, in Rochester, New York. He grew up in New Jersey, Long Island, and New York City, and attended the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, where he studied composition and counterpoint. His career as a composer began in 1930, when he was one of the co-writers of the song “All the King's Horses” for the musical revue Three's a Crowd.
Over the next fifty years, Wilder wrote several hundred popular songs, among them “It's so Peaceful in the Country,” “I'll Be Around,” and “All the Cats Joined In.” (Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Marlene Dietrich, and Anita O'Day are among the artists who recorded Wilder songs.) He also composed sonatas for the bassoon, flute, and tuba, works for the piano, a concerto for saxophone and chamber orchestra, five operas, and a ballet; and published two books: Letters I Never Mailed (1975), and, with James T. Maher, American Popular Song: The Great Innovators, 1900-1950 (1972).
Wilder lived at the Algonquin Hotel in Manhattan for nearly fifty years. He died of lung cancer in Gainesville, Florida, in December 1980.
From the guide to the Alec Wilder papers, 1939-2000, (The New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division.)
- American drama