Coward, Sir Noël (Peirce)
- John Snelson
(b Teddington, Dec 16, 1899; d Blue Harbour, Jamaica, March 26, 1973). English composer, lyricist, librettist and performer. Born into a family of keen amateur musicians, he made his first professional appearance as an actor in The Goldfish in 1911, achieving great public recognition with The Vortex (1924) as both playwright and leading actor. Many of his plays have become standards of the repertory and often include individual songs, most famously with ‘Someday I’ll find you’ from Private Lives and the integrated musical numbers in his series of one-act plays, Tonight at 8.30. As a singer he remains best known for those recordings of his own songs made in the 1950s, and associated with his cabaret performances first at the Café de Paris in London and then the Desert Inn in Las Vegas. The clipped pronunciation, light baritone with much use of head tones, and rhythmic licence have become instantly recognizable trademarks, much copied and parodied....