(June 10, 1901-February 14, 1988)
Born in Berlin, Germany
With Alan Jay Lerner, wrote songs for the Broadway musicals ‘Brigadoon’ (1947), ‘Paint Your Wagon’ (1951), ‘My Fair Lady’ (1956) and ‘Camelot’ (1960) and the film ‘Gigi’ (1958)
Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame (1972)
Why he might be annoying
When he first arrived in America, he worked several odd jobs, including delivering mail, cow punching, gold mining and prize fighting, before finding regular work as a piano player accompanying silent films.
He said working with Lerner was sometimes ‘like being tied to the devil himself.’
He would fly to Vienna just for dinner.
Why he might not be annoying
When he was thirteen, he became the youngest pianist to solo with the Berlin Phiharmonic.
At fifteen, he wrote his first hit song, ‘Katrina,’ which would sell over a million copies of sheet music.
He had a knack for writing tunes that could be handled by non-singing actors like Rex Harrison in ‘My Fair Lady,’ Louis Jourdan in ‘Gigi’ and Richard Burton in ‘Camelot.’
During the first year ‘My Fair Lady’ played on Broadway, he would go to the theater early in the morning and offer cups of coffee to people who had been sleeping on the sidewalks waiting for the box office to open.
He left a share of his royalties from ‘Brigadoon’ to the Lambs Club, where he had first met Lerner.
Credit: C. Fishel
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Year In Review:
For 2017, as of last week, Out of 6 Votes: 66.67% Annoying
In 2016, Out of 4 Votes: 50.0% Annoying
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