Wilder, Alec

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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.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn William Engvick collection of Alec Wilder scores, 1930-1991 The New York Public Library. Music Division.
referencedIn Jerome Hill papers., 1909-2005 (bulk 1909-1986). Minnesota Historical Society.
referencedIn New Yorker records, ca.1924-1984 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn The Moldenhauer Archives at Harvard University: Correspondence, literary manuscripts, sound recordings, and other material, 1873-2001. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Alec Wilder papers, 1939-2000 New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division
referencedIn The Benny Goodman Papers, 1910-1992, inclusive Irving S. Gilmore Music Library, Yale University
referencedIn Vincent Persichetti collection of noncommercial recordings, 1940-1987 The New York Public Library. Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound.
referencedIn Leo Reisman collection of sound recordings [sound recording], 1932-1948 The New York Public Library. Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound.
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Albee, Edward, 1928- person
associatedWith Baker, Dorothy, 1907-1968 person
associatedWith Balaban, Emanuel, 1895-1973 person
associatedWith Benét, Laura person
associatedWith Blechman, Marcus person
associatedWith Brooks, Stella, 1915- person
associatedWith Cheever, John person
associatedWith Churchill, Sarah, 1914-1982 person
associatedWith De Vries, Peter person
associatedWith Diamond, David, 1915-2005 person
associatedWith Engvick, William person
associatedWith Frank Sinatra person
associatedWith Goodman, Benny, 1909- person
associatedWith Harper Lee person
associatedWith Herlihy, James Leo person
associatedWith Hill, Jerome, 1905-1972 person
associatedWith Holliday, Judy person
associatedWith Holman, Libby person
associatedWith Krumgold, Joseph, 1908-1980 person
associatedWith Margaret Barker. person
associatedWith Moldenhauer, Hans, collector. person
associatedWith Muriel Spark person
associatedWith New Yorker Magazine, Inc corporateBody
associatedWith Persichetti, Vincent, 1915-1987 person
associatedWith Peter DeVries person
associatedWith Reisman, Leo, 1897-1961 person
associatedWith Schweitzer, Albert, 1875-1965 person
associatedWith Sinatra, Frank, 1915-1998 person
associatedWith Taylor, Harold, 1925- person
associatedWith Thurber, James, 1894-1961 person
associatedWith Watson, James S. (James Sibley), 1894- person
associatedWith Welty, Eudora, 1909-2001 person
associatedWith Westlake, Donald E person
associatedWith Wilder, Thornton, 1897-1975 person
associatedWith Williams, Tennessee, 1911-1983 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
American drama


Birth 1907-02-16

Death 1980-12-24



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