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Show TunesThe Songs, Shows, and Careers of Broadway’s Major Composers$
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Steven Suskin

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195314076

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195314076.001.0001

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Bob Merrill

Bob Merrill

Born: May 17, 1920, Atlantic City, New Jersey

Died: February 17, 1998, Beverly Hills, California

Chapter:
(p.256) Bob Merrill
Source:
Show Tunes
Author(s):

Steven Suskin

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195314076.003.0021

This chapter examines the work of Bob Merrill. It begins with an extended commentary of his career, followed by details on productions, with data and song information. Merrill grew up in Philadelphia, where his father was a candy manufacturer. By his late teens he was working as a nightclub singer. Following military service, Merrill went to Hollywood in 1943 as a writer for NBC Radio, moving over to Columbia Pictures as a dialogue director. An interest in songwriting led to a profitable pop song career, highlighted by the 1950 If I Knew You Were Comin’ I’d’ve Baked a Cake (written with Al Hoffman and Clem Watts) and that imperishable 1953 hit, How Much Is That Doggie in the Window? Merrill’s success with novelty songs was such that he had difficulty getting a serious hearing as a composer.

Keywords:   Bob Merrill, composers, Broadway musicals, musical theater, nighclub singer, novelty songs, Hollywood, songwriters

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