Showing 27 results

Authority record
Library of Congress

Pons, Lily

  • 81028139
  • Person
  • 1898-04-12 - 1976-02-13

Zaret, Hy

  • 85121454
  • Person
  • 1907-08-21 - 2007-07-02

Hy Zaret (August 21, 1907 – July 2, 2007) was born Hyman Harry Zaritsky in New York City to Max and Dora Zaritsky, who emigrated from Russia in the 1890s. Zaret attended public schools, but was not an enthusiastic student. Despite his small stature, he played football at a local community center. He attended West Virginia University and Brooklyn Law School, where he received his LLB. Zaret practiced law for a few years and legally changed his name in 1934. His first major lyrical success came in 1935 when he wrote the words to “Dedicated to You” with Saul Chaplin and Sammy Cahn. He served as a sergeant in the War Music Division during World War II and wrote many war-related tunes, including “Song of the Army Nurse Corps” and “Soldiers of God (The Chaplain’s Song).” He also wrote English lyrics for “The Partisan” and “La Marsellaise.” In 1944, he wrote the lyrics to “One Meat Ball”, which became a success for the Andrews Sisters. Zaret’s biggest hit, “Unchained Melody”, written for the 1955 prison film Unchained, received an Academy Award Nomination for Best Original Song. Recorded by more than 300 artists, the song saw renewed interest in the 1990s with its inclusion in the movie Ghost. In the ensuing years, it received multiple awards from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, and Rolling Stone magazine. Beginning in the early 1950’s, Zaret began writing lyrics (usually in conjunction with composer Lou Singer) for children’s educational songs and public service announcements for which he received numerous accolades. His efforts include Ballads for the Age of Science, Little Songs on Big Subjects, Little Songs for Better Schools, Little Songs for Busy Voters, Little Songs for Living Longer, Little Songs on Fire Prevention, Spotlight Ballads, Little Songs for the American Cancer Society, Sing-Along for Mental Health, and others. Zaret’s marriage to Shirley Goidel produced two sons, Thomas (who predeceased him) and Robert. Zaret passed away in 2007 at the age of 99.

Scharf, Walter

  • 85327132
  • Person
  • 1910-08-01 - 2003-02-24

Walter Scharf (August 1, 1910 - February 24, 2003) was an American film composer and conductor who worked with Alice Faye and Rudy Vallée. When Vallée moved to Hollywood, Scharf followed. In the course of his Hollywood career, Scharf composed, arranged and/or conducted the music to over 100 feature films including Alexander’s Ragtime Band, Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Funny Girl, and The Cheyenne Social Club. His prodigious career also included television and stage plays. From 1948 to 1954, Scharf worked as the musical director for the Phil Harris – Alice Faye Show, arranging and composing music for the radio show.

Judy, Richard W.

  • 88267184
  • Person

Richard Judy was an exchange student in Moscow from 1958-1959, where he obtained 18 Soviet-era x-ray film recordings of jazz music. At the time, jazz music was illegal in the Soviet Union.

Cook, Will Marion

  • 88663576
  • Person
  • 1869-01-27 - 1944-07-20

Will Marion Cook (January 27,1869 – July 20, 1944) was a musician, conductor, and composer born in Washington, D.C. to John Hartwell Cook and Marion Isabelle Lewis, free people of color before the Civil War. For a short time after his father’s death in 1879, Will lived with his maternal grandparents in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Here, he is said to have heard “real Negro melodies” and folk music. In 1880, he returned to Washington, D.C. where he began to take music seriously. At the age of fourteen, he enrolled in the Oberlin Conservatory of Music where he studied for four years. After completing his studies there, he traveled to Germany where he studied for two years at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik, training under Heinrich Jacobsen. Cook studied under Czech composer Antonin Dvorák at New York’s National Conservatory of Music.
Inspired by Dvorak, Cook began to experiment with compositions that maintained the integrity of the Negro spiritual. In 1898 Cook’s first composed score, for the one-act musical comedy Clorindy, the Origin of the Cakewalk, met with critical acclaim. The show’s successful run on the Roof Garden of the Casino Theatre in New York established Cook as a gifted composer. He made history with Clorindy by becoming the first African American to conduct a white theater orchestra.
In 1899 he married Abbie Mitchell, the show’s leading actress. They had two children, Marion and Mercer, before separating in 1906.
In 1900, Cook made his mark as a composer with several musical comedy productions often writing for the Williams and Walker Company (WWC), an all-black comedy troupe. His landmark score for their production of In Dahomey (1902-1905) in particular, not only brought Cook even more success, but also established the WWC as the leading black troupe of the decade. The show also marked a turning point for African American representation in vaudeville theater. The show ran for a total of four years in the United States and in the United Kingdom.

Raymond, Jack

  • 91063340
  • Person
  • 1923-11-19 - 2016-02-11

Maurice Seymour

  • 95022488
  • Corporate body
  • 1900-1995

Maurice Seymour refers to a team of two brothers, Maurice (1900-1993) and Seymour (1902-1995) Zeldman, Russian Jews who specialized in photographing dancers and other performers. They formed Maurice Seymour Studios in Chicago. When one of the brothers decided to move to New York, they both legally changed their names to Maurice Seymour.

Kostelanetz, Andre

  • LC2012035308
  • Person
  • 1901-12-22 - 1980-01-13

Andre Kostelanetz (1901-1980) was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia. He was a conductor and arranger, known for arranging and recording classical music for mass audiences. Kostelanetz pioneered microphone techniques still used today. He was married three times and had no children.

Harris, Phil

  • LC80146364
  • Person
  • 1904-01-24 - 1995-08-11

Phil Harris (June 24, 1904 – August 11, 1995) was a singer, songwriter, jazz musician, actor and comedian, best remembered for his voice work; he provided the voices for “Baloo” in Disney’s The Jungle Book and “Little John” in Disney’s Robin Hood. Born Wonga Philip Harris in Linton, Indiana, Harris grew up in Nashville, Tennessee. Beginning in the late 1920s, he worked as a drummer in an orchestra he formed with Carol Lofner in San Francisco. When the partnership ended, he continued to perform with his own band. In the mid-1930s, Harris became musical director of The Jell-O Show starring Jack Benny. Although responsible for singing and leading the band, Harris had a quick wit and comic timing that insured his inclusion into Benny’s comic ensemble.

Phil Harris and Alice Faye married in 1941; it was a second marriage for both of them. Although insiders predicted the union would not last more than six months, the marriage lasted fifty-four year, until Harris’s death in 1995. In 1946, the couple began co-hosting a Sunday night comedy-variety show titled The Fitch Bandwagon, sponsored by F. W. Fitch Co., a hair products manufacturer located in Des Moines, Iowa. The show’s premise, to showcase big bands, shifted as the popularity of Harris and Faye’s family skits grew in popularity. In 1948, Rexall, a pharmaceutical company, became the show’s sponsor and its title changed to The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show. The couple played themselves in the weekly situation comedy that included two young actresses playing the couple’s real-life daughters. The show featured Harris as a bumbling, slightly vain husband and Faye as his loving, but sharp-tongued wife. During each episode, Faye and Harris sang a couple of songs. Generally, Faye performed ballads and Harris sang swing numbers. The show ended in 1954.

The couple continued to work, separately and together, until Harris’s death.

Davis, Charlie

  • LC82084758
  • Person
  • 1899-11-10 - 1991-12-12

Willson, Meredith

  • LC83042585
  • Person
  • 1902-05-18 - 1984-06-15

Meredith Willson (1902-1984) was born Robert Meredith Willson in Mason City, Iowa. Willson’s first career was as a flautist with the John Philip Sousa Band and the New York Philharmonic. He later pursued a career as conductor and music director in both radio and television. Following a stint in the Army during World War II, he saw success with the production of “The Music Man,” for which he wrote the music, lyrics, and the book. He also wrote the musicals “The Unsinkable Molly Brown,” “Here’s Love,” and “1491.” He was married three times, to Elizabeth Wilson (divorce), Ralina “Rini” Zarova (her death), and Rosemary Sullivan (his death).

Garrett, Betty

  • LC85376586
  • Person
  • 1919-05-23 - 2011-02-12

Kahn, Gus

  • LC89002698
  • Person
  • 1886-11-06 - 1941-10-08

Born in Koblenz, Germany on November 6, 1886, Gustav Gerson Kahn emigrated to America with his family when he was four; the family settled in Chicago in 1892. Gus completed grammar school where he demonstrated an ability to create rhymes and won an essay writing contest. He worked at various jobs including a stint as a pottery wrapper in a china factory while continuing to write lyrics. In 1909, Kahn collaborated with Grace LeBoy, a song composer for music publisher Joseph H. Remick whom he met on New Year’s Eve, 1908. Their collaboration of his lyrics and her melody resulted in Kahn’s first hit “Gee, I Wish I Had a Girl,” and the marriage of Kahn and LeBoy after an 8-year professional relationship. The marriage produced two children, Donald and Irene.

In 1932, Kahn moved his family from Chicago to Hollywood where he worked as a lyricist for MGM and RKO. With Vincent Youmans, Kahn wrote the score for Flying Down to Rio, the cinematic debut of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Before his untimely death in 1941, Kahn worked on numerous films including The Merry Widow, Naughty Marietta, and Girl of the Golden West. His last hit, “You Stepped Out of a Dream,” appeared in the 1941 movie Ziegfeld Girl.

Kahn worked with and befriended many of the top composers of the period including Walter Donaldson, Richard Whiting, and Harry Warren; his circle of friends also included actors and singers like Eddie Cantor and Al Jolson and bandleaders Guy Lombardo and Isham Jones. An avid golfer, Kahn was known to write lyrics while playing a course with Walter Donaldson. Al Jolson served as godfather to son Donald. Kahn served on the ASCAP Board of Directors from 1927 to 1930 and was admitted to the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in 1970. His 32-year songwriting career produced approximately 800 published songs, many of which remain standards today.

Grant, Gogi

  • LC90013760
  • Person
  • 1924-09-20 - 2016-03-10

Gogi Grant (September 20, 1924 – March 10, 2016) was born Myrtle Audrey Arinsberg in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Grant sang as a child, but did not consider a career as a singer until she won an amateur singing contest at the age of 28. Her 1956 recording of “The Wayward Wind” rose to number one on the charts and remained there for a then-record of eight weeks. Billboard magazine voted her the most popular female vocalist during this period.

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