TOP   Felix Arndt
b. May 20, 1889 New York, NY, USA. d. Oct. 16, 1918 Harmon-On-Hudson, NY, USA.
His Mother was the Countess Fevrier, related to Napoleon III. Felix was educated in New York City schools. As a young man, he wrote special material for several years for Vaudeville stars Bayes and Norworth and for Gus Edwards. For 3 years, He made piano rolls for Duo-Art and for QRS and others. He wrote his big hit "Nola" (here played by Irwin Schwartz) as an engagement piece, ten months before he wed his sweetheart, Nola Locke. It was published in 1916. Later, orchestra leader Vincent Lopez made it his theme.

There is an interesting sidelight here. Felix died during a Flu epidemic in New York city. He and his wife Nola were good friends with lyricist Irving Caesar. Long after Arndt's demise, Nola and Irving lived together for a while.

Arndt, a fine pianist, was also an influence on the young and then unknown George Gershwin, who would visit him at his studio in the Aeolian Building on 42nd St., between 6th and 7th Avenues. This contact may have been the inspiration for Gershwins "Rialto Ripples" and through Arndt, Gershwin came to make Piano Rolls in Jan 1916. It is said that it was Arndt who got Gershwin a job at Aeolian Hall.

TOP   Gus Arnheim
b. Sept 4, 1897, Philadelphia, PA, USA. d. Jan. 1955, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
Gus Arnheim is recalled today as one of the earliest popular music band leaders. His band was immensely popular during the 1920's and 1930's. They toured all over the U.S. and Europe, and appeared in some Hollywood films. Gus Arnheim is included here primarily for the songs he composed:

Brief Chronology:
1923 Arnheim wrote his first big hit: "I Cried for You"
1929 The band appeared in the film 'The Street Girl'.
1929 Russ Columbo was the band's featured vocalist from 1929 to 1931 (and he also played the violin).
1931 Bing Crosby, as a member of the 'Rhythm Boys' sang with the band. (after Crosby left Paul Whiteman's orchestra)
1931 Arnheim wrote another big hit song, "Sweet and Lovely."

He retired from the band after the mid-1940s but returned in the mid-fifties for a brief time. He died in 1955, at age 58.

TOP   Eddy Arnold
b. May 15, 1918, Henderson, Tennessee, USA
Tag: "The Tennessee Plowboy "
According to Billboard Magazine, Arnold holds the record for most Top 10 hits on the Country Charts (92), and the most weeks with songs at the #1 position on the Country Charts (145).

With his smooth baritone voice and relaxed style, Arnold became one of country music's most beloved performers. Among his many RCA hit releases are such tunes as "Anytime", "Bouquet of Roses", "Cattle Call", "Here Comes My Baby", "I Want to Go With You", "Lonely Again", "Make the World Go Away", "Turn the World Around", What Is Life Without Love?", "What's He Doing in My World?", "Will Santy Come to Shanty Town?" and "You Don't Know Me".

TOP   Robert Arthur
Currently no information on this composer.
Composed: "Passing Fancy",

TOP   Kenny Ascher
Currently no information on this composer.
Composed: "One More Look At You"

TOP   Anthony D. Asher
Currently no information on this composer.
"Don't Talk"
"Just Wasn't Made For These Times"

TOP   Frances Ash
Currently no information available.
Her tune (music and lyric) "I'm Gonna Love That Gal (Like She's Never Been Loved Before)" was recorded by Perry Como.

TOP   Edwin Astley
b. April 12, 1922, Warrington, Cheshire, England, UK , d. May 19, 1998, Goring, Oxfordshire, England, UK.
né: Edwin Thomas Astley. (aka: Ted Astley)
( Father-in-law of rock-and-roll guitarist/composer Pete Townshend.) Astley was mostly active composing and writing scores for the British Film industry. He worked on well over 30 films. Among his best known works on feature films are:
"To Paris with Love"
"Kill Her Gently"
"Wishing Well Inn"
"The Giant Behemoth"
"The Mouse That Roared"
"Woman Eater"
"The Day They Robbed the Bank of England"
"In the Wake of a Stranger"
"Passport to China"
"A Matter of Who"
"The Phantom of the Opera"

His scores for documentaries include:
"Diesel Train Ride"
"Broad Waterways"
"What a Day"
"Speaking of Freight"
1961 "Terminus" (was also the screen debut of John Schlesinger. It portrayed a day in the life of Waterloo Railway Station. )
"The Signal Engineers"
"Scotland for Sport" (employed Hebridean 'Puirt a'Beul' --mouth music).

TOP   Gene Austln
b. June 24, 1900, Gainesville, TX, USA. d. Jan. 24, 1972, Palm Springs, CA, USA. (Lung Cancer)
né: Lemuel Eugene Lucas
Overview Austin's father was Nova Lucas (died 1943), and his mother was Serena Belle Harrell (died 1956). Gene's stepfather, Jim Austin, was a blacksmith and Gene later adopted his stepfather's name, and became "Gene Austin". This singer-songwriter and author was educated at Baltimore University. In 1916, During World War I, Gene served in the U.S. Army. He had enlisted hoping to be sent to fight in France. Instead, he served in the Mexican Punitive Expedition, fighting Pancho Villa.

Austin began his recording career in the mid-twenties and had established himself as a major star before the end of the decade. In 1927 he recorded the hit "My Blue Heaven," which became a multi million-selling disc and remained the biggest selling record until Bing Crosby's "White Christmas" replaced it fifteen years later.

Among his chief musical collaborators were Jimmy McHugh, Roy Bergere and Nathaniel Shilkret. By the early thirties, Austin's fame began to fade primarily because his soft voice could not compete wich the bands that were becoming fashionable and micro- phones were not developed enough to help.

In addition to his performing, he composed several popular songs, including
"How Come You Do Me Like You Do?" and
"When My Sugar Walks down the Street"
"The Lonesome Road"

Austin's million-selling records also included 1928's "Ramona," composed by Mabel Wayne, and "My Blue Heaven", with music by Walter Donaldson and lyric by George Whiting. Among his other compositions are "Ridin' Around in the Rain", "The Lonesome Road", "Whippoorwill, Go Tell My Honey that I Love Her", "Please Come Back to Me", and "Take Your Shoes Off, Baby".

Gene Austin married five times.
Kathryn Arnold, a dancer, married 1924, and divorced 1929. The marriage produced one child, Anne, born in 1928.
Agnes Antelline, married 1933, and divorced in 1940. Their daugther, Charlotte, was born in 1933.
Doris Sherrell, an actress, married 1940, and divorced 1946.
LouCeil Hudson, a singer, married 1949, divorced 1966.
In 1967, he married Gigi Theodora, and they remained together till his demise.

Austin appeared as an actor in 8 Hollywood films, and contributed music to 4 others. He also seen on the TV series "Toast of the Town", and on "Shower of Stars". Over his career, Gene sang in theatres, vaudeville, radio, television and films, and was often recorded.

TOP   Lovie Austin
b. 1897, Chattanooga, TN, USA. d. 1972, USA.
née: Cora Calhoun
Remembered today as one of the pioneering black female vaudevillians, Lovie was a rare college trained Black songwriter, she had attended both Knoxville College, and Roger Williams University in Nashville, TN. She and her husband performed in revues and vaudeville as the team of 'Austin and Delaney'. She is remembered today as a singer rather than as a trained composer.

She became the musical director of Chicago's Monogram Theater, a position she held for 20 years. During this period, she formed a recording group called the 'Blues Serenaders' with which she recorded her own voice, as well as a great many Black stars such as Ethel Waters; Alberta Hunter; Ma Rainey, and Ida Cox.

Among her best known songs are:
"Weary Way Blues", recorded by Austin and Ida Cox (1923).
"Down Hearted Blues", Bessie Smith's first big hit.

TOP   Gene Autry
b. 1901, Tioga Springs, Texas, USA. d. Oct. 2, 1998, Los Angeles, CA, USA (Cancer. Three days after his 91st birthday.
Gene Autry was the first singing cowboy movie star. His first starring movie role came in the film 'Tumbling Tumbleweeds' (1935). By the end of his career, in the early fifties, he had made about I00 movies. In addition, he was the star of the radio show 'Melody Ranch' from the early forties through the early fifties. He recorded extensively and made several hit records, particularly "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," "Peter Cottontail," and "Frosty the Snowman", all of which are big sellers annually. He was also the composer or co-composer of several hits in the country and western market, some of which became national hits. His most famous compositions include "That Silver-Haired Daddy of Mine," "Back in the Saddle," "Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?," and "Here Comes Santa Claus."

In recent years he has been less active in show business, concentrating instead on his considerable business empire, which includes radio and television stations, recording and publishing firms, movie studios, and the 'California Angels' baseball team.

TOP   Nat D. Ayer
b. 1887, d. 1952
Nat D. Ayer also wrote "King Chanticleer" (1911, lyrics by Seymour Brown, used in the Ziegfeld Follies). The music is very often performed at ragtime festivals (never the lyrics), - even used as background music in films and accompanyment to silent films. Ayer left "Tin Pan Alley" to go to England, where he remained until the end of his life, composing mostly for the theater.
Our readers thank Mr. Anthony Ponaras who so kindly submitted this information on Nat D. Ayer.

Among his compositions are:
Another Little Drink"
"Bingo Farm"
"If You Were The Only Girl In The World", A big hit song.
"Mary My Girl"
"Oh, You Beautiful Doll", Another huge hit.
"Shurr Up"
"Somewhere In The World"
"Where The Rainbow Ends"
"Zuyder Zee", Very popular "Novelty" Tune.

"Zuyder Zee, Zuyder Zee,
Zuyder Beautiful Zee.
You unt me, You unt Me,
Oh How Happy Ve'll Be"

TOP   Craig Armstrong
Currently no information on this English Born composer.
Among his film scores are:
1. Moulin Rouge (2001)
2. One Day in September (1999) (Added additional music) (In Germany: Tag im September, Ein)
3. Bone Collector, The (1999)
4. Best Laid Plans (1999)
5. Plunkett & Macleane (1999)
6. Orphans (1997)
7. Fridge (1996)
8. Romeo and Juliet (1996) (Added additional music)

TOP   Stefano Arnaldi
Currently No Information on this Italian born Composer/Pianist.
As a Composer active during the 1990s - 2000s, his works include:
Liberate i pesci! (2000)
Tea with Mussolini (1999) (In Italy: Te con Mussolini, Un)
Besieged (1998) (musician: piano solos) (In Italy: Assedio, L'); (In Canada: Siege, The)
Jane Eyre (1996) (orchestrator)

TOP   Richard Arnell
b. 1917, London, England, UK
Currently no information available.
During 1935-9, Arnell studied at the Royal College of Music with John Ireland. In 1941, he wrote his first film score to Robert Flaherty's documentary,'The Land', and subsequently made a suite of the music. He worked in the American film studios, and has had his music conducted by men such as Bernard Herrmann, Leopold Stokowski and Sir Thomas Beecham. Arnell worked both as a composer and also a film maker.

Among his films are:
The Land (1941)
The Third Secret (1963)
The Visit (1964)
The Man Outside (1966)
Topsail Schooner (1966)
Bequest For A Village (1969)
Second Best (1972)
Stained Glass (1973)
Wires Over The Border (1974)
Black Panther (1977)
Antagonist (1980)
Dilemma (1981)
Doctor In The Sky (1983)
Toulouse Lautrec (1984).

TOP   David Arnold
Currently no information available on this English Composer.
Among his film and TV scores are:
Bond 20 (2001)
D'Artagnan (2001)
"Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased)" (2000) TV Series (composed the title theme)
Shaft (2000)
BBC Hall of Fame: Barbara Windsor (2000) (TV)
World Is Not Enough, The (British Title 1999) (In USA: Pressure Point)
Wing Commander (1999) (composed the title theme)
Godzilla (1998)
Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
Life Less Ordinary, A (1997)
"Visitor, The" (1997) TV Series (composed title theme)
"Stargate SG-1" (1997) TV Series (additional music and title theme)
Independence Day (1996)
Last of the Dogmen (1995)
Stargate (1994)
Young Americans, The (1993)

TOP   Malcolm Arnold
b. October 21, 1921. Northampton, England, UK
Arnold is one of the great composers of British music. Interestingly, his career was concurrent in both film and concert music, although he was phenomenally successful with his film music. Still, his film music and his concert music used much the same techniques.

While his most famous score was for the film The Bridge on the River Kwai, which received an Oscar, he has written more than 80 film scores. Arnold's film music career began in 1947, when his friend John Swain invited him to provide music for the documentary Avalanche Patrol. Arnold went on to produce music for twenty more documentaries before his first feature film: Badger's Green.

Today, we think of Malcolm as a composer, but, during a 1996 Carl Davis interview on BBC Radio, Arnold said that he went into film music basically to get experience in conducting. Arnold had started as third trumpeter with the London Philharmonic, then to first Trumpet, and finally giving that up to conduct. (Only subsequently did he become a composer who could work very fast to meet filming deadlines.)

Among the films to which he contributed, are:
The Forbidden Street (1949)
Women in Our Time (1949)
Eye Witness (1950)
The Sound Barrier (1952). He excerpted some of this film's music for a concert rhapsody.
The Captain's Paradise (1953)
Channel Islands (1953)
Hobson's Choice (1954). Scored for a 25 piece String Band with Brass, playing in Dance Hall style.
You Know What Sailors Are (1954). He excerpted some of the music and produced a scherzetto      for clarinet and orchestra.
The Belles of St. Trinian's (1955), Scored for a 12 piece band.
The Deep Blue Sea (1955)
The Night My Number Came Up (1955)
A Prize of Gold (1955)
1984 (1956)
Port Afrique (1956)
Trapeze (1956)
The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957). He wrote the score in just 10 days. A big production. Kenneth
     Alford's "Colonel Bogey" march was used as a contrast to Arnold's own "River Kwai March".
     Copyright issues prevent the two compositions to be played together other than on the film's
     own soundtrack.
Island in the Sun (1957)
Value for Money (1957)
Wicked as They Come (1957)
Blue Murder at St. Trinian's (1958)
Dunkirk (1958)
The Inn of the Sixth Happiness (1958)
The Key (1958)
The Roots of Heaven (1958). The film's romantic prelude is still heard occasionally.
Suddenly Last Summer (1959)
The Angry Silence (1960)
Tunes of Glory (1960)
No Love for Johnnie (1961)
The Lion (1962)
Lisa (1962)
Whistle Down the Wind (1962). The whistling on the soundtrack is by the film's producer, Richard
Nine Hours to Rama (1963)
The Chalk Garden (1964)
Tamahine (1964)
The Thin Red Line (1964)
Heroes of the Telemark (1965)
Operation Snafu (1965)
The Great St Trinian's Train Robbery (1966)
Sky West and Crooked (1966)
Africa - Texas Style (1967)
The Reckoning (1969), he used some of the films themes for his Eighth Symphony
The Battle of Britain (1969). Arnold orchestrated, and conducted Walton's music for this film.
David Copperfield (1970)

TOP   Georges Auric
b. Feb. 15, 1899, Lodeve, Herault, France, d. July 23, 1983, Paris, France.
Interestingly, Auric, a composer of many Classical works, from the 1930s through the 1960s, including Instrumental, Choral, opera and a ballet, was one of "Les Six", a very well known French group of Classical music composers. ( Les Six: Darius Milhaud, Francis Poulenc, Arthur Honegger, Louis Durey, Germaine Tailleferre, Georges Auric, and Erik Satie as spiritual father (with Jean Cocteau as their spokesman). Critic Henri Collet christened the group "Les Six", after the Russian "Mighty Five". ) Still, he may best be recalled for the enjoyable counterpoint his music contributed to so many English frolics of the 1940s and '50s. In fact, Auric was writing film scores long before soundtracks became a film staple. His background music for the Ealing Comedies (including 'Passport to Pimlico') was always brightfully charming. (Is anything more ' English ' than the plot of Ealing Film's comedy 'The Titfield Thunderbolt?')
    His roster of films, starting in 1930, is long - in total 52 scores. His major works include:
    Blood of a Poet (1930)
    Beauty and the Beast (1946)
    The Eagle Has Two Heads (1948)
    The Queen of Spades (1948)
    The Storm Within (1949)
    The Galloping Major (1951)
    The Lavender Hill Mob (1951)
    Moulin Rouge (1952)
    Roman Holiday (1953)
    The Wages of Fear (1955)
    Rififi (1956)
    Bonjour Tristesse (1958)
    SOS Pacific (1960)
    Therese and Isabelle (1968)
    The Christmas Tree (1969)

TOP   Eduardo Arolas
b: Feb. 24, 1892, Argentina. d: Sept. 29, 1924
Nickname: "The Tiger of the Bandoneon" (El Tigre del Bandoneon).
Here's a photo of Eduardo Arolas, -a virtuoso bandoneonist, arranger, and composer, who wrote a great many orchestrations and arrangements. After having triumphed in Paris, France, he returned to his homeland, Argentina. In time, he composed such Tangos as the famous "Una Noche de Garufa", ('Evening at the Cafe' -composed in 1909 and publ. 1913 Paris, he was just 17 years old at the time.). (The Garufa was a place in the Mondiole district of Montevideo, Uruguay. A very poor district consisting of huts perched on Wood piles on the banks of the river, - in a zone subject to frequent flooding.) It's a comic Tango, telling the tale of a man who after going from Cafe to Cafe, is unable to find his way out of the district. Another of his Tangos was "Rocca"

As a child, Arolas learned to play the guitar and the concertina by ear. He first worked with Agust´┐Ż Bardi and Ernesto Ponzio before forming his own group. Julio De Caro, wrote about Arolas that his "right hand was admired by the audience and his collegues". While another Bandoneon player, Pedro Laurenz, said "his performance was brilliant, energetic, he played the most simple tango, without variations, very variated and colourful".

Among his other Tango compositions are:
    "Derecho Viejo";
    "El Marne"

In 1923, Arolas, the victim of an unfortunate accident where he was portrayed as the protagonist of a serious offense, left Montevideo on the run, and landed in Paris, France. There, his friend, Pizarro, found him some work. But Arolas' drinking and health problems were interfered with his work. On September 29, 1924, 16 months after arriving in Paris, he died, at age 32, --a victim of Pulmonary Tuberculosis and alcoholism. In his 14 year career, he had written more than 115 songs, mostly Tangos, and died leaving the memory of a colorful character who himself then became a subject of Tango songs by other composers of his time.

TOP   Fred Astaire
b: May 10, 1899, Omaha, NB, USA. d: June 22, 1987, Los Angeles, CA, USA. (pneumonia)
né: Frederick Austerlitz
It is indeed curious, that an actor as famous as Fred Astaire, was completely unknown as a composer and lyricist. He was also unknown as a pianist and drummer. This son of an Austrian immigrant was already performing on vaudeville stages when he was just age 5. Both Fred and his sister, Adele, formed a successful team working first on the vaudeville circuits, and then in Broadway and London stage musicals. In 1932, sister Adele retired to marry, and Astaire went to Hollywood. He first signed to RKO Pictures, but was loaned to MGM to appear in the Joan Crawford film Dancing Lady. But, it was in his next film, RKO's Flying Down to Rio, that starring the voluptuous Lupe Velez, and her co-star Gene Raymond, that would launch Fred and a young starlet, Ginger Rogers, into film stardom. Fred and Ginger would go on to dance together in 9 RKO pictures, setting a level of dancing elegance and excellence perhaps never again achieved on the 'Silver Screen'. During these years he was also active in recording and radio. After Ginger, Fred later appeared opposite a number of different partners, in different studios, including Cyd Charisse, Rita Hayworth, and Leslie Caron. During 1945-'47, Fred was in temporary film retirement, during which he opened a chain of Astaire Dancing Schools. He did return to film making and starred in still more musicals through 1957. When he considered his age, he afterwards accepted only dramatic roles in film and TV.

Fred was twice married, first to Phyllis Livingston Potter on 12 July 1933. The marriage lasted till she died on 13 September 1954. The couple had 2 children, son Fred Jr. (born 1936), daughter Ava (born 1942). He next married Robyn Smith on 27 June 1980, and that marriage lasted till Fred's demise on 22 June 1987. Fred once told an interviewer "The hardest job kids face today is learning good manners without seeing any (on screen)." Fred was buried in the same cemetary as his most famous dancing partner, Ginger Rogers.

A chronological listing of the songs that Fred wrote the Music or the Lyric includes:
       "She's Got the War Bride Blues", 1919, with Roy Atwell.
       "You've Such a Lot", 1923. lyric: Austin Melford, sung in London, UK, musical The Co-Optimists
       "Shake Your Feet", 1927. lyric: Jock Whitney and Jim Altemus, for the musical revue Tappin' The Time
       "Not My Girl", 1929. with Van Phillips. lyric: Desmond Carter, orig. recorded by Al Starita and his Boy Friends.
       "More and More", 1930. with Richard Myers, lyric: Johnny Mercer.
       "Blue Without You", 1931. co-composed with Jim Altemus, lyric: Mitchell Parish.
       "I'll Never Let You Go", 1936. lyric: Dave Dreyer, and Jack Ellis
       "I'm Building Up To An Awful Let-Down", 1936. lyric: Johnny Mercer. Tune managed to reach #4 on US charts.
       "Just One More Dance, Madame", lyric: Dave Dreyer and Paul Francis Webster, 1936
       "Tappin' The Time", 1936. lyric: Gladys Shelley
       "Rise and Shine", 1936. lyric: Gladys Shelley
       "Sweet Sorrow", 1940. lyric: Gladys Shelley; Later (1956) recorded by Buddy Bregman Orch.
       "Just Like Taking Candy From A Baby", 1940. lyric: Gladys Shelley. Rec'd: 1940 Benny Goodman Orch.,
           and 1956 Buddy Bregman Orch.
       "If Swing Goes, I Go To", 1944. lyric: Fred Astaire. Fred rec'd the tune with Albert Sack Orch. in 1944.
           The scene with Fred and the tune was cut from the MGM Film "Ziegfeld Follies".
       "Oh, My Achin' Back", 1945. lyric: Willie Shore, and Morey Amsterdam. (Fred recorded it with Albert Sack's Orch.)
       "Rhythmic Boogie Woogie", 1946. (for a dance routine in Paramount film Blue Skies)
       "Piano Dance", 1950. composed with Tommy Chambers and Mason Van Cleave. (used as dance routine in
           Paramount film Let's Dance)
       "There's No Time Like The Present" 1952. lyrics: Walter Ruick; Rec'd: Buddy Bregman Orch.
       "Hello, Baby", 1956. lyric: Moe Jaffe, and Walter Ruick,
       "Lovely Melody", 1956. lyric: Gladys Shelley
       "Calypso Hooray", 1956. lyric: Fred Astaire. Rec'd: Buddy Bregman Orch.
       "The Afterbeat", 1959. words and music by Johnny Mercer and Fred Astaire.
       "You Worry Me", 1962. lyric: Fred Astaire
       "Girls Like You", 1962. Music with Tommy Wolf, lyric: Tommy Wolf.
       "I Love Everybody But You", 1962. lyric: Fred and his daughter Ava (born 1942).
       "Life Is Beautiful", 1974. lyric: Tommy Wolf.
       "City of the Angels", 1974.lyric: Tommy Wolf.

May Aufderheide
b. 1888, Indianapolis, IN, USA. d. 1972, California, USA.
Currently no information.
John Edward Hasse's 1981 Indiana University dissertation, "The Creation and Dissemination of Indianapolis Ragtime 1897-1930", has provided a fascinating look at Jazz origins in Indianapolis, IN. One of the persons he wrote about was the now almost forgotten Ragtime composer May Aufderheide. Born into a German-American family, May studied piano with her aunt.

Evidently, her composing career commenced at about the same time she became engaged to an Indianapolis architect, and apparently lasted but 4 years. "Dusty Rag", her first song, was published just six weeks before her wedding in 1908. Between 1908 and 1912, she published 19 compositions, several of them becoming hits. Her compositional career seems to have ended in 1912. Some writers have assumed her husband"s failed aspirations as an architect may have caused her artistic silence.

Hasse, in his dissertation, noted that her compositions "Dusty Rag" and "The Thriller Rag" "....were each issued by no less than six different piano player roll companies, and were among the first rags to be resurrected when ragtime was revived in the 1940s. This fact suggests a final irony: May Aufderheide enjoyed more immediate success with her rags than did any other Indianapolis composer, yet after only four years of composing, she seems to have stopped for good." Though her artistic voice was silent, she continued to play piano all of her life,