Victor L. Schertzinger was an American composer, film director, film producer, and screenwriter. His films include Paramount on Parade, Something to Sing About with James Cagney, and the first two “Road” pictures Road to Singapore and Road to Zanzibar. His two best-known songs are “I Remember You” and “Tangerine”, both with lyrics by Johnny Mercer and both featured in Schertzinger’s final film The Fleet’s In. Schertzinger was born in Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania, the child of musical parents of Pennsylvania Dutch decent, and immediately attracted attention as a violin prodigy at the age of four. As a child of eight, he appeared as a violinist with several orchestras, including the Victor Herbert Orchestra and the John Philip Sousa band. In his teens, he attended the Brown Preparatory School in Philadelphia, and gave violin performances while touring America and Europe.
Schertzinger studied music at the University of Brussels. He continued to distinguish himself as a concert violinist, and then as a symphony conductor. He also worked as a songwriter, adding a song with lyrics by producer Oliver Morosco to L. Frank Baum and Louis F. Gottschalk’s musical, The Tik-Tok Man of Oz. His first brush with the film industry came in 1916, when Thomas Ince commissioned him to compose the orchestral accompaniment for the his great silent film Civilization. Remaining under Ince’s employment, Schertzinger became principal director of the popular Charles Ray films, establishing a rapport with the mercurial Ray that few of the star’s other collaborators would ever achieve.
After the introduction of sound, Schertzinger continued to direct films but also began to compose songs for them, and in some instances writing scripts or producing as well. Though closely associated with Paramount Pictures, Schertzinger actually spent the thirties as a freelancer. Some of his best films, such as One Night of Love and The Mikado exploited his vast knowledge of the world of music.