Willson, Meredith (ON HOLD)

Composer-lyricist-playwright of “The Music Man” and “The Unsinkable Molly Brown”

Price: $175.00 Special Offer - $125.00



Description:
(1902-1984) Iowa-born composer, songwriter, conductor and playwright, best known for writing the book, music & lyrics for the hit Broadway musical “The Music Man”, which won the 1958 Tony Award for Best Musical; the cast recording of “The Music Man” won the 1st Grammy Award given for best cast album, and its 1962 film adaptation was a success. He attended Frank Damrosch's Institute of Musical Art (later The Juilliard School) in NYC. A flute and piccolo player with John Philip Sousa's band (1921–23) and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra under Arturo Toscanini (1924–29). Moved to San Francisco as concert director for KFRC, and then as an NBC radio network musical director in Hollywood. He worked on films and was nominated for 2 Academy Awards; in 1940 (Best Original Score for “The Great Dictator”) and in 1941 (Best Music Score of a Dramatic Picture for “The Little Foxes”). He worked on radio during and after WW II, inc. the Burns and Allen and Jack Benny programs, among others. Willson's 2nd Broadway musical, “The Unsinkable Molly Brown”, was a 1960 success. He also composed symphonies and a number of popular songs. He also became the musical director for The Big Show, a prestigious comedy-variety program hosted by actress Tallulah Bankhead and he wrote the song, "May the Good Lord Bless and Keep You" for the show. 2nd musical, “The Unsinkable Molly Brown”, ran on Broadway 1960-62 for 532 performances and became a 1964 motion picture. His 3rd Broadway musical was “Here's Love” (1963). His “Symphony No. 1 in F minor, A Symphony of San Francisco”, and “Symphony No. 2 In E Minor, Missions of California”, were recorded in 1999 by William T. Stromberg conducting the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra. Other symphonic works include “O.O. McIntyre Suite”, “Symphonic Variations on an American Theme and Anthem”, and the symphonic poem “Jervis Bay”. Other concert works include “Ask Not”, which incorporates a portion of John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Address. Willson's chamber music includes “A Suite for Flute”. Willson penned a number of songs, such as "You and I", Billboard #1 for Glenn Miller in 1941, also recorded by Bing Crosby and Tommy Dorsey with Frank Sinatra on vocals, and "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas". He wrote 3 autobiographies. The Juilliard School dedicated its 1st and only residence hall to Willson in 2005. In 1987, Willson was presented, posthumously, with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Reagan. ISP, 10 x 8 b&w glossy bust portrait inscribed with sentiment, adding November 6 1964 date.

Condition: Very good
Type:Photograph






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