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Bob Merrill

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The Resume

    (May 17, 1921-February 17, 1998)
    Born in Atlantic City, New Jersey
    Birth name was Henry Robert Merrill Levan
    Wrote for the Broadway musicals 'Carnival!' (1961) and 'Funny Girl' (1964), and the TV special 'Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol' (1962)
    Wrote or co-wrote the songs 'If I Knew You Were Coming, I'd've Baked a Cake,' 'Mambo Italiano,' 'How Much Is That Doggie in the Window?' 'Make Yourself Comfortable,' 'You Don't Have to Be a Baby to Cry,' 'Pittsburgh Pennsylvania,' 'Don't Rain on My Parade,' and 'People'
    Wrote the screenplays for 'Mahogany' (1975), 'W.C. Fields and Me' (1976), and 'Chu Chu and the Philly Flash' (1981)
    Committed suicide by gunshot

Why he might be annoying:

    He could not read or write music.
    He demonstrated his tunes on a toy xylophone he bought for $1.98 at a thrift store.
    After his songwriting royalties passed the $250,000 mark, he decided to splurge and bought a $6.98 xylophone that he used for the rest of his life.
    With 'If I Knew You Were Coming....' and 'How Much Is That Doggie....,' he created two of the most insidious earworms of the 1950s.
    He was nominated for eight Tony Awards without winning any.

Why he might not be annoying:

    He said, 'I'd rather be writing for the people than a dozen sophisticates in an East Side nightclub.'
    He won a Grammy for Best Score from an Original Cast Album for 'Funny Girl.' (1964)
    He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame (1987).
    Seth MacFarlane incorporated several of his songs into episodes of Family Guy, with another songwriter noting, 'You have 16-year-old kids humming Bob Merrill songs and they have no idea who he is.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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Year In Review:

    For 2021, as of last week, Out of 5 Votes: 20.0% Annoying