Musicians/Composers


MUSICIANS/COMPOSERS BORN IN INDIANA...

Joshua Bell  b. Bloomington, IN 12/9/67Concert violinist. The son of a pyschologist who teaches at Indiana University. Played solo violin for the film, Le Violon Rouge (The Red Violin) (1998) and for the film Iris (2001). Has recorded thirteen albums for London/Decca. Has been called one of the greatest violin talents in 70 years.

Ross Edwin Barbour b. Columbus, IN 12/31/28Singer-spokesman for "The Four Freshman". Appeared with his group in Rich, Young and Pretty (1951) in which they sang with Jane Powell and Vic Damone..."How Do You Like Your Eggs in the Morning?" Other members were, Bob Flanigan and Don Barbour both of Greencastle, IN and Hal Kratzch.

Walter Bullock

  • b. Shelburn, IN May 6, 1907
  • d. Los Angeles, CA, Aug. 19, 1953.
  • Started his career in Indianapolis at WFBM radio. Went to Hollywood and wrote for Ben Bernie. Later became a composer for the movies and a screenwriter. His writing partners included Richard Whiting and Jules Styne. He wrote lyrics for many songs in Shirley Temple films. Twice nominated for an oscar for best song...1936 for "When Did You Leave Heaven" (with Whiting) from Sing Baby, Sing and 1940 for "Who Am I?" (with Styne) for Hit Parade of 1941. Wrote screenplays for such films as, Springtime in the Rockies, The Gang's All Here, Greenwich Village and The Farmer Takes a Wife.

    Gary Burton

  • b. Anderson, IN 1/23/43
  • A virtuoso performer on the vibraphone, he is a noted jazz bandleader, composer and teacher. George Shearing recorded an album of Burton's compositions, "Out of the Wood." Worked with Stan Getz, Chet Atkins and Bob Dylan. Won 3 grammies. Played vibes for movie, Afterglow (1997).

    J. Will Callahan b. Columbus, IN, March 17, 1874 d. New Smyrna Beach, FLA, Nov. 15, 1946 Started out as a singer of illustrated songs. Wrote "Smiles", "Tell Me", "When I Came Home to You", "Patches." Chief Collaborator was Max Kortlander. "Smiles" was featured in at least three motion pictures...Applause 1929 (Helen Morgan), The Dolly Sisters 1945 (B. Grable, J. Haver), Somebody Loves Me 1952 (Betty Hutton), The Eddie Duchin Story 1957 (Tyrone Power). "Tell Me" was featured in at least two films...For Me and My Gal 1942 (Judy Garland), On Moonlight Bay 1951 (Doris Day). Callahan became blind as a result of glaucoma in the 1920s.  He wore dark glasses and a visor at all times.

    Hoagy Carmichael

  • b. Bloomington, IN Nov. 22, 1899
  • d. Rancho Mirage, CA, Dec. 27, 1981
  • Considered one of the master songwriters of the twentieth century, he has been called the most talented, inventive, sophisticated, and jazz-oriented of all the great craftsmen. His chosen lyrics and his regional songwriting frequently celebrated his small-town upbringing in Bloomington, Indiana. Composer of what could be one of the most recorded songs in the history of the world..."Stardust". Other hits... "Georgia", "The Nearness of You", "Skylark", "In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening" (Oscar for "Best Song" in Here Comes the Groom), "Old Buttermilk Sky", "I Get Along Without You Very Well", "Lazy Bones", "Small Fry", "Memphis in June", "Am I Blue?", "Up a Lazy River".

    Buy these CD's from amazon.com...

    The Hoagy Carmichael Songbook
    Various artists...Frank Sinatra, Julie Andrews, Della Reese, Glen Miller, Phil Harris

    Stardust and Much More
    Prime sessions in Chicago, Kansas City, New York between 1927 and 1934

    Hoagy Sings Carmichael
    Georgia on My Mind, Skylark, Two Sleepy People, Lazy River, etc.

    Conte and Pete Condoli b.Mishawaka, IN July 12, 1927 and June 28, 1923 Long-time staff musicians on the NBC "Tonight Show". Both appeared in the movie, Bell, Book and Candle and Pete played trumpet in West Side Story. He also played the trumpet for Tony Curtis in the 1958 film, Kings Go Forth . Conte Condoli (real name: Secondo Condoli) died December 14, 2001 after appearing as a trumpet player in David Lynch's 2001 film "Mulholland Drive."

    Albert Edwin "Eddie" Condon

  • b. Goodland, IN 11/ 16/04
  • d. New York, 8/4/73
  • Jazz guitarist, composer, promoter and bandleader. Went to NY in 1928 and played with Bobby Hackett and Artie Shaw Orchestras. He formed his own band in the 1930's and hired such people as Gene Krupa and Bobby Hackett. Became a jazz promoter in the 40's. He presented Fats Waller at Carnegie Hall and was involved in the first televised jazz concert. Star of his own TV series, "The Eddie Condon Floorshow" (1948). In 1945 he opened his own nightclub in Greenwich Village in NY. It was called, "Eddie Condon's." Honored by jazz greats in Carnegie Hall in July 1972.

    Buy these books from amazon.com...

    We Called it Music: A Generation of Jazz
    by Eddie Condon

    Eddie Condon's Scrapbook of Jazz
    by Eddie Condon

    Scatman Crothers b. Terre Haute, IN 5/23/10d. Van Nuys, CA 11/22/86Composer, singer, band leader, actor. A singer-drummer-musician at local speakeasies when he was only 14, he formed his own band in the 1930's and wrote hundreds of tunes. Went into films in the 1950's and provided a wide variety of characterizations in over 50 films until his death in 1986.

    Gretchen Kiger Cryer b. Dunreith, IN 10/17/35Writer, actress, lyricist. Daughter of Mr. and Mrs. E.W. Kiger, Jr. of Dunreith, she graduated from Spiceland H.S. and DePauw University. In collaboration with DePauw classmate Nancy Ford who wrote the music, she wrote the book and lyrics for a number of successful plays based on her experiences growing up in Henry County. Her most personal work is, "I'm Getting My Act Together And Taking It On The Road." Other plays written with Ms. Ford include, "Now Is The Time For All Good Men," "The Last Sweet Days of Isaac" and "Shelter." Her son Jon Cryer has appeared in many films and TV shows. Daughter Robin has appeared with her mother in Cabaret shows and youngest daughter Shelley works in theatre make-up.

    George Daugherty b. Pendleton, IN Producer, Conductor, Composer. Won Emmy for "Die Fledermaus (PBS) in 1985. Produced "Bugs Bunny on Broadway" in 1990. Won Emmy for "Peter and the Wolf" in 1995. Produced and directed "The Magical World of Chuck Jones" in 1991. In 1999 was presented with "Indiana Governor's Arts Award".

    Charlie Davis b. Indianapolis, INPopular Indianapolis bandleader ("Charlie Davis and His Joy Gang") achieved national reputation in the 1920's and 1930's with a band which featured Dick Powell as vocalist with other names like Bix Beiderbecke and Hoagy Carmichael working at times with Davis. With the help of Beiderbecke, Davis composed "Copenhagen" which found it's way into the Jazz Hall of Fame. Davis and his band appeared in one movie short for Warner Brothers. It was filmed on the set of "The Front Page".

    Buy this book from amazon.com...

    That Band from Indiana
    by Charlie Davis

    NOTE: This book can also be purchased from the Indiana Historical Society

    Johnny "Scat" Davis b. Brazil, IN 5/11/10 d. Pecos, TX 11/28/83Trumpeter, scat singer and comedian. Got his first big job with Fred Waring and his Pennsylvanians. Played for Benny Goodman Orchestra and when the Goodman orchestra was featured in the movie, Hollywood Hotel (1937), Johnny became famous for his vocal rendition of "Hooray for Hollywood." Made a number of recordings with his own Trio and some larger groups. He appeared in 15 feature films. Formed his own band in the late thirties and toured through the forties. Had his own morning program on WXYZ TV in Detroit in 1951-52.

    Paul Dresser

  • b. Terre Haute, IN April 21, 1857
  • d. New York, NY Jan. 30, 1906
  • Composer of hit tunes in the 1920's. Big hits were..."On the Banks of the Wabash" and "My Gal Sal". Dresser's songs were mostly narrative ballads harking back to the past. Examples include, "Just Tell Them That You Saw Me", "I Wonder Where She is Tonight" and "The Town Where I was Born". He was the brother of famed novelist Theodore Dreiser. The movie, My Gal Sal was based on Theodore Dreiser's work, "My Brother Paul".

    George Duning

  • b. Richmond, IN Feb. 25, 1908
  • d. San Diego, CA 2/27/2000
  • Educated in Cincinnati, he started as a trumpeter for Kay Kyser, later becoming an arranger for the Kyser Orchestra for 18 years. From there, he was signed by Columbia pictures. Wrote, arranged and orchestrated for movies like, Picnic, From Here to Eternity, The World of Suzy Wong, The Eddie Duchin Story, Salome. Nominated for Oscars for "Best Music, Scoring of of a Musical/Dramatic Picture" for...The Eddie Duchin Story (1956), Picnic (1955), From Here to Eternity (1953), No Sad Songs for Me (1950), Jolson Sings Again (1949). He visited Indianapolis Nov. 5-7, 1993 for the Second Annual Festival of Indiana Music held in the Indiana War Memorial auditorium. A complete performance of one of his film scores was featured as well as the first performance of his "Clarifications" for clarinet and chamber ensemble.

    Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds

  • b. 4/10/58, Indianapolis, IN
  • Graduate of Crooked Creek elementary and North Central H.S. Has won ten Grammy awards. Composed music for Waiting to Exhale and The Lamb. Nominated for Golden Globe (2000) for "How Can I Not Love You" from Anna and the King.

    Fran Frey b. Indianapolis, IN

  • A singer, musician and orchestra leader, Frey was the son of Fremont Frey, a newspaperman and composer. He was widely known in Indianapolis in the early 1920s, playing the sax in jazz bands and singing. He left Indianapolis and went to New York, appearing in Kid Boots (starring Eddie Cantor) and in Sunny which starred fellow Hoosier Marilyn Miller. He also appeared in the Broadway production of Good News as part of a vocal trio. This show ran from 1927 to 1929 enjoying 557 performances. He was vocalist with George Olson and his Hotel Pennsylvania Band in New York for several years, broadcasting on WJZ during which time he was known as the "vocal ace." He eventually moved to the West Coast where he did musical arrangements for several productions. He made frequent appearances on national radio networks as a singer and orchestra leader. One of his compositions was, "She's a Corn-Fed Indiana Girl." In 1959 he is credited as the composer for the TV series, The Alaskans which ran for 37 episodes and starred fellow Hoosier Claude Akins.

    Janie Frickie (real name Janie Fricke) b.South Whitley, Indiana. Began singing at age 10. Her father was a guitarist and her mother a piano teacher and organist. Moved to Los Angeles and then to Nashville to pursue a singing career. Joined the Lea Jane Singers. She has added background vocals to thousands of records...for people like Crystal Gayle, Ronnie Milsap and Elvis Presley. In 1982 she had her first solo hit number "Don't Worry 'Bout Me, Baby."Other hits..."It Ain't Easy Bein' Easy", "Tell Me a Lie". In the 90's she reverted to the original spelling of her name...Fricke.

    Irving (Izzy) Friedman

  • b. Linton, IN 12/25/00
  • d. California November 1981. Composer, musical director.
  • Lived in Terre Haute several years. Musical Director for over thirty films from 1947 to 1965. Music Director for such films as, The Big Cat (1949), Tulsa (1949) and The Adventures of Casanova, Written by Shelburn, Indiana native, Walter Bullock. Composed music for TV shows in the fifties..."Dennis the Menace", "The Donna Reed Show", and others.

    Dolores Fuller

  • b. South Bend, 1923...Actress/Composer.
  • Appeared as an extra at age 11 in "It Happened One Night" (1934). Began acting in school plays and moved into early television where she was the "Gustinette Girl" on Queen for a Day. She worked as a model in a number of TV commercials and had a regular job on NBC's Dinah Shore Chevrolet Playhouse. In 1952 she met director Ed Wood. She became his girlfriend. She has expressed a dislike for the way she was portrayed by Sarah Jessica Parker in the movie, Ed Wood. After splitting with Wood, she turned composer and wrote songs for 9 Elvis Presley films from 1961 to 1970 including... "Rock-a-Hula Baby" and "Steppin' Out of Line" which were featured in Blue Hawaii (1961). Also "I Got Lucky" for Kid Galahad (1962). Other songs for Presley films...It Happened at the World's Fair (1963), Roustabout (1964), Kissin' Cousins (1964), Girl Happy (1965), Spinout (1966), Easy Come, Easy Go (1967), Change of Habit (1970). Started her own record company, "Dee Dee Records" and launched the careers of such people as Tanya Tucker and Johnny Rivers.

    Wilbur Gumm, (or Gumbinsky) b. Indianapolis, INLyricist/music publisher. Brother of Albert and Harry Von Tilzer, he was a sometimes lyricist with his brother Albert. His brothers, Jules, Jack and Albert were all born in Indianapolis and they all became publishers in Tin Pan Alley primarily publishing songs their brothers (Using their mother's maiden name Tilzer and adding the "Von") composed.

    James Frederick Hanley,

  • b.Rensselaer, Feb. 17, 1892
  • d. Douglaston, NY, Feb. 8, 1942
  • Composer/lyricist. Wrote "Back Home Again In Indiana" in 1917. Was a composer for Ziegfeld Follies and George White's "Scandals." Wrote "Second Hand Rose" for "The Ziegfeld Follies of 1921" which was later featured in Funny Girl and sung by Barbra Striesand. Also wrote "Rose of Washington Square" for a Ziegfeld production in 1920. This tune appeared in the 1939 film Rose of Washington Square and was sung by Alice Faye. It also appeared in Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967) sung by Ann Dee. He worked for 20th Century Fox from 1931 to 1934. In 1935 he wrote the hit, "Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart."Other tunes by Hanley include "Just a Cottage Small by a Water Fall", "If You Knew Susie Like I Know Susie," "Who Do You Love?" Just before his death he completed the score for "The Band Plays On."

    Phil Harris (Wonga Philip Harris) b. Linton, IN 1/16/04 d. Rancho Mirage, CA 8/11/95Actor, composer, band leader. Big hits as a vocalist were novelty songs..."That's What I Like About the South" and "The Thing." Voice frequently used for Disney films. Baloo the Bear in Jungle Book...song, "The Bear Necessities"...The Alley Cat in The Aristocats..."Little John" in Robin Hood. Bandleader and regular on "The Jack Benny" radio (and later TV) show for years. While still with Benny, started his own radio show with wife Alice Faye. Eventually left the Benny show to devote full time to his own radio series which was very successful.

    Bobby Helms  b. Martinsville, IN 1933d. 1997 Best known for his perrenial Christmas hit, "Jingle Bell Rock." This song was even featured on the sound track of "Lethal Weapon" (1987). Also recorded such hits as "My Special Angel," " Fraulein" and a string of top 40 singles and several gold records. Appeared in the movie, The Case Against Brooklyn (1958) as himself.

    Buy this CD from amazon.com...

    Bobby Helms Christmas Album
    Jingle Bell Rock, Here Comes Santa Claus, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, etc.

    John Hiatt b.Indianapolis, IN August 20, 1952Singer-songwriter... was host of PBS' "Sessions at West 54th". Has composed songs sung by Paula Abdul, Iggy Pop, Bob Dylan, Joe Cocker, The Everly Brothers, Willie Nelson, Three Dog Night, and Bonnie Raitt ("Thing Called Love") Nominated for two Grammy awards for his rerecorded 1998 version of "Have a Little Faith in Me". Composed the title track for "Riding With the King" the Grammy-winning Eric Clapton/B.B. King album in 1983. Just released his 23rd album. Several of his songs will be featured in the 2002 Disney film, The Country Bears starring Haley Joel Osment.

  • Visit this web site...
  • http://www.johnhiatt.com

    Freddie Hubbard, (Frederick Dwayne Hubbard) b. Indianapolis, IN 4/7/38 Jazz trumpeter. First played and recorded with Wes and Monk Montgomery. Moved to NYC in 1958 and played with J.J. Johnson, Slide Hampton and Sonny Rollins. In 1961, joined Art Blakely's "Jazz Messengers." Composed hit standard, "Up Jumped Spring." Played trumpet for movie, Round Midnight (1986). Won Grammy for "First Light"(1972)

    Sylvia Hutton b. Kokomo, INCountry singer, songwriter. Had many country hits in the early '80s. After selling over four million records and scoring several number one hits, she stopped touring and made her home in Nashville. Her extensive television appearances include Austin City Limits, The Country Music Awards, The Grammy Awards, and the Academy of Country Music Awards. The Bluebird Cafe in Nashville is her home base, where she performs with her band or with John Mock. She appeared in the title role of Petronella for a Disney channel movie in the 80's, the only movie she has made.

    Michael Jackson b. Gary, IN August 29, 1958.Actor, composer, producer, writer, etc. Played the role of the Scarecrow in the film The Wiz (1978). Best selling albums include "Off the Wall", "Thriller" and "Bad". "Thriller" became the best selling album ever recorded. His "Victory Tour" sold the most tickets in the history of show business. Won MTV award for best movie song in 1994..."Will You Be There" from Free Willy.

    Janet Damita Jackson b. Gary,IN 5/16/66 Youngest of the nine children in the Jackson family. Appeared in TV series, Good Times, A New Kind of Family, Diff'rent Strokes and Fame.In the mid- eighties, she made a platinum-selling album, "Control," which was one of the most successful albums ever made by a female artist. In 1989 she won eight prizes at the Billboard Music Awards for her album, "Rhythm Nation 1814." This record produced eight top 5 hits, four of which went to No. 1. Her 1997 album, "The Velvet Rope" recounted her highly publicized emotional breakdown..

    James Louis "J.J." Johnson b. Indianapolis, IN January 24, 1924...composer/musician. d. February 4, 2001Johnson started out on the piano as a child. He switched to trombone at age 14 with only high school training and a tutor who was lead trombone in the YMCA band. He became one of the greatest jazz trombonists. Composed musical scores for such movies as, Top of the Heap", "Cleopatra Jones", "Willie Dynamite".

    John Cougar Mellencamp b. Seymour, IN October 7, 1951.Actor, director, composer, musician. Appeared in Farm Aid '96 as himself and in Falling from Grace as "Bud Parks". Directed "Falling from Grace" and co-wrote the screenplay with Larry McMurtry (of "Lonesome Dove" fame).

    L.E. McCollough b. Speedway, INPlaywright/composer.Wrote music for Ken Burns documentary on women's suffrage aired in November, 1999 on PBS. Also wrote music for Burns' The West" (1996) and Lewis and Clark (1997). He also performed on the sound track of Michael Collins (1996), the Warner Brothers film starring Julia Roberts and Liam Neeson. He wrote the musical on Ernie Pyle debuted at the Indiana Historical Society Theatre. Wrote book for "That Band From Indiana"...the story of the Charlie Davis Band. It was premiered at the Indiana Historical Society September 28, 2000.

    Cole Porter b. Peru, IN June 9, 1891d. Santa Monica, CA October 15, 1964The king of sophisticated lyrics and melodies in the 30's, 40's and into the 50's, Cole Porter wrote hit Broadway musicals and later music for the movies. Many of his Broadway hits were made into movies although most were changed so as to be virtually unrecognizable. A few were, Anything Goes", "The Gay Divorce", "DuBarry was a Lady", "Kiss Me Kate" and "Silk Stockings". He was nominated four times for an oscar for "best song", but never won. A few of his tunes were...Night and Day", "I Get a Kick Out of You", "Let's Do It", "I've Got You Under My Skin", "Begin the Beguine" and "Just One of Those Things".

    Buy this CD from amazon.com...

    Night and Day: The Cole Porter Songbook
    Dinah Washington, Louis Armstrong, Mel Torme, Sarah Vaughn, Billie Ekstine, Billy Holiday

    Danny Polo b. Toluca, Illinois, December 22, 1901. d. Chicago, IL, July 11, 1949.Born in Illinois, but was brought as an infant to Clinton, Indiana where he grew up a child prodigy as a musician. He was proclaimed by Benny Goodman as "the world's greatest clarinet player." At age eight, he was playing guitar, saxophone and clarinet in the Majestic band in his hometown's proud Italian marching ensemble. He played in dance halls and in theatres all through his high school years. He and Terre Haute native Claude Thornhill formed a teenage novelty duo and appeared with several orchestras in the area. He made his way to Chicago and began playing in a variety of orchestras and then formed his own, "Danny Polo and His Swing Stars" in 1936. He toured Europe and then joined Ray Ventura's Orchestra in Paris, adding the oboe to his repertoire. In 1939 he went to New York to join Joe Sullivan's New York Cafe Society Band. During this hitch, he played with the fabled Jack Teegarden and played the clarinet behind Bing Crosby in Birth of the Blues. He recorded with Coleman Hawkins and others and then reunited with Claude Thornhill. He died at age 48 from a bleeding ulcer in Chicago. He is buried in Clinton's Walnut Grove Cemetery.

    J. Russel Robinson

  • b. Indianapolis, IN July 8, 1892.
  • d. Palmsdale, CA Sept. 30, 1963
  • Graduate of Shortridge H.S. in Indianapolis. With his brother playing drums, Robinson played piano in accompaniment to silent films. Later they went on the road together as "The Famous Robinson Brothers." Married his high school sweetheart when they were 17 and she contributed lyrics to many of his songs. In 1920 he composed his most famous song, Margie in collaboration with Con Conrad and Benny Davis. Other compositions include, Mary Lou and Blue-Eyed Sally. Hoagy Carmichael used to stuff manuscripts of his first efforts under the door of the Robinson home in Indianapolis.

    Ned Rorem

  • b. Spring Grove, IN Oct. 23, 1923
  • Studied with Gian Carlo Menotti and Aaron Copeland. Composed ballets and set a number of poems to music. He wrote incidental music for the theatre including plays such as, Suddenly Last Summer, Motel and The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore. Won Pulitzer Prize for his "Air Music" in 1976. Typically likened to an American Schubert (living in Paris). His 1998 cycle "Evidence of Things Not Seen" enhanced his reputation as does a new CD, "Songs of Ned Rorem" sung by Susan Graham. Autobiography: "Paris Diary."

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    Songs of Ned Rorem
    Susan Graham

    Fred Rose

  • b. Evansville, IN Aug. 24, 1897
  • d. Nashville, Tenn, Dec. 1, 1954
  • One time pop singer and pianist he became a prolific composer of country music in the 40's and early 50's. He founded the Acuff-Rose Publishing Company which is now run by his son, Wesley. Perhaps most popular song he composed was "Deed I Do" (1926).

    W. Axl Rose,

  • b.Lafayette,IN February 6, 1962
  • Of "Guns and Roses".
  • (Born William Bruce Rose but his mother changed his name to William Bruce Bailey..his stepfather's name. Legally had his name changed to W. Axl Rose in 1986). Written songs for several movies.Actor, Composer.

    David Lee Roth b. Bloomington, IN October 10, 1954 formerly a member of "Van Halen". Musician and actor. Appeared in "L.A. is My Lady" in 1984 and "Spaceballs" in 1987.

    Chris Rutkowski b. Indianapolis, IN... composer/arranger, he is also a storyboard artist. He has worked on such films as, "The Return of Jafar", "Aladdin and the King of Thieves" and "Mighty Ducks, the Movie".

    Bobby Sherwood (Robert J. Sherwood, Jr.) b. Indianapolis, 5/30/14d. Auburn, MA 1/23/81Actor and composer. He had his own orchestra, was a game show host on television ("Quick As a Flash" 1953), was a panelist on "Masqerade Party" from 1954 to 1957, and was a regular on "The Red Buttons Show" (1952). His last film was Pal Joey in 1957. Among his musical compositions was "Sherwood's Forest."

    Noble Sissle

  • b. Indianapolis, IN July 10, 1889
  • d. Tampa, FL 12/17/75
  • Educated at Butler University. Toured two years with Thomas Jubilee Singers. Went into vaudeville with Eubie Blake. Lyricist mostly with Blake. Wrote lyrics for "I'm Just Wild About Harry," "You Were Meant for Me," "Shuffle Along," "In Honeysuckle Time." "I'm Just Wild About Harry" was not only Harry Truman's campaign song, it proved so popular it appeared in six movies from 1939 to 1949. Judy Garland sang it in "Babes in Arms" (1939). Organizer and first president Negro Actors Guild.

    Red Skelton

  • b. Vincennes, IN July 18, 1913
  • d. Rancho Mirage, CA Sept 17, 1997
  • Appeared in vaudeville, radio, film, circuses, television. Wrote, "Things and You," "A Christmas Song," "Red's White and Blue," "Valentina's Party" and "I'll Wait for You."

    Connie Smith b. Elkhart, IN August 14, 1941 Country singer. Dolly Parton said, "There are only three great singers, Connie Smith, Barbra Streisand and Linda Ronstadt. The rest of us are just pretending." She was the first female country artist to have a number one record for eight weeks. She quit show business to raise her five children and just recently returned with a new album simply entitled, "Connie Smith." Warner Brothers has signed her to a contract. Her biggest hit was, "Once a Day" in 1964. She Appeared in at least four films..."Road to Nashville," "Las Vegas Hillbillies," "Hell on Wheels" and "Second Fiddle to a Steel Guitar."

    Jules Stein b. South Bend, IN April 26, 1896d.April 29, 1981Not a composer or lyricist, Jules Stein nevertheless was a giant in the music industry. Trained as a physician, he went into business in Chicago with Billy Goodheart, Jr. booking musical acts under the name Music Corporation of America. His company (MCA), became the largest theatrical and musical agency in the world. It eventually was purchased by Universal Studios. Given the Jean Hersholt award in 1976.

    Claude Thornhill

  • b.Terre Haute, IN August 10, 1909
  • d. Caldwedd, NJ July 1, 1965.
  • Leader of one of the most sophisticated big bands of the forties, known for his progressive arrangements. Studied at the Cincinnati Conservatory and Philadelphia's Curtis Institute. He was a pianist and played with such bands as Paul Whiteman and Benny Goodman. Was frequently a session musician with people like Billie Holiday. His most successful commercial recordings featured vocalist Fran Warren.

    Albert Von Tilzer

  • b. Indianapolis,IN March 29, 1878
  • d. Los Angeles, CA Oct. 1, 1956
  • (real name was Albert Gumm or Gumbinsky. He assumed the adopted name of his brother)...one of three songwriting brothers...Albert, Harry and Will.(See Wilbur Gumm above)Was a shoe buyer in a Broolyn NY dept. store. Then a staff member of brother Harry's music publishing company. Albert became an independent publisher in 1903 and had his first hit "Teasing" in that year. He later wrote such hits as, "I'll be With You in Apple Blossom Time" and "Put Your Arms Around Me Honey." In 1908 he wrote the music for one of the most famous songs in American History, "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" (Lyrics by Jack Norworth).

    Harry Von Tilzer

  • b. Detroit, MI July 8, 1872
  • d. New York, NY Jan. 10, 1946
  • (Real name Harry Gumm or Gumbinsky. His mother's maiden name was Tilzer. He added the "Von" for class) Born in Detroit, Michigan, his parents moved to Indianapolis shortly after he was born. Toured in circus , stock companies and burlesque. He was the founding father of Tin Pan Alley. Among his hits were, "I Want a Girl Just Like the Girl That Married Dear Old Dad," "A Bird in a Gilded Cage," "After the Ball," "Wait Till the Sun Shines Nellie."

    Gabe Ward

  • b. Knightstown, IN November 26,1904
  • d. 1992
  • With Ken Trietsch (guitar) and Paul "Hezzie" Triesch (slide whistle and washboard) of Arcadia, Indiana, Ward (clarinetist) formed the "Hoosier Hotshots," a forerunner to "Spike Jones and his City Slickers". They added bass player Frank Kettering and went into vaudeville. Appeared regularly on the National Barn Dance radio show from Chicago. They made more than 250 records and appeared in 20 films.

    For more information on "The Hoosier Hot Shots," visit this web site...

  • http://www.hoosierhotshots.com

    Steve Wariner

  • b. Noblesville, IN December 25, 1954
  • Composer for "The Dukes of Hazzard: Reunion!" (1997 TV) (Also an actor) In 1992 he was voted one of "Nashville's Ten Sexiest Men" by a USA Today poll.

    Ivory "Deek" Watson b. Indianapolis, IN 1909d. November 1969Composer/performer. "Deek" Watson, Orville "Hoppy" Jones, Charles Fuqua and Jerry Daniels started performing as a quartet in Indianapolis in 1932 calling themselves, "The Riff Brothers" and later "The Percolating Puppies". They finally decided to call themselves "The Ink Spots". In 1936 Bill Kenny replaced Jerry Daniels as the lead singer and they recorded their biggest hit, "If I didn't Care". This group appeared in two movies, " The Great American Broadcast" (1941) in which they sang, "If I Didn't Care" and "Pardon My Sarong" (1942) in which they sang, "Do I Worry?". Watson went on to appear as himself in "Boy! What a Girl" (1947) with a group calling themselves "The Brown Dots". Watson also composed songs for this film. Elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989.


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