b. 27 May 1915, New York City, New York, USA, d. 18 January 1966, New York City, New York, USA. A usually collaborative songwriter Wise wrote for 40s films, including I’m Just Curious (1944), Snap Happy (1945) and On An Island With You (1948). The latter featured ‘Nightingale’, composed with co-writers Xavier Cugat and George Rosner. Wise took co-credit with Buddy Kaye and Sidney Lippman for ‘A?You’re Adorable’, a 1948 song recorded by Perry Como. Among 50s and early 60s films in which Wise’s songs were sung are King Creole (1958, ‘Crawfish’), Wild In The Country (1961, ‘I Slipped, I Stumbled, I Fell’ and ‘In My Way’), Follow That Dream (1962, the title song, with music by Ben Wiesman), Kid Galahad (1962, ‘This Is Living’, ‘Riding The Rainbow’ and ‘I Got Lucky’), Fun In Acapulco and Kissin’ Cousins (both 1963). For the latter, Wise collaborated with Randy Starr on the opening credits song, ‘Kissin’ Cousins’, which made the Top 20 charts through Elvis Presley’s recording. (The similarly titled closing credits song was by others.) Several of the foregoing films starred Presley and in the mid-60s, Wise wrote some of the music for the star’s Roustabout (1964), Paradise - Hawaiian Style and Spinout (both 1966; UK title for the latter California Holiday). With Weisman, Kay Twomey and Bert Kaempfert, Wise wrote the English-language adaptation of ‘Wooden Heart’, sung by Presley in G.I. Blues (1960). Among other songs Wise co-wrote that were recorded by Presley are ‘Fame And Fortune’, ‘Summer Kisses, Winter Tears’ and ‘Almost Always True’, the latter adapted from a foreign language song by Joseph Saucier.
Another foreign song that Wise helped Sidney Keith Russell and Milton Leeds adapt was Nicholas Roubanis’ 1941 transcription of a Greek folk song ‘Misirlou’. A 1927 recording of this song by Greek singer Michalis Patrinos has led to his sometimes being credited as co-composer. This song proved to very popular and was recorded by dozens of artists, especially during pop’s surfing phase, and was used extensively during the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. The Beatles recorded a song Wise wrote with Weisman and Twomey, ‘Lend Me Your Comb’. Long after Wise’s death his song ‘Pocketful Of Rainbows’ was used in Jerry Maguire (1996), while Dick Dale And His Del-Tones’ version of ‘Misirlou’ was heard in Pulp Fiction (1994).