Leading composer and lyricist in the 1930s and '40s, best remembered for "The Continental."
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Herbert Magidson Biography

by Joslyn Layne

Composer Herb Magidson was an important songwriter for Broadway and Hollywood during the 1930s and 1940s, and won the first Oscar ever awarded to a song. Born in 1906 in Braddock, PA, Magidson later studied at the University of Pittsburgh. After graduation, he got a job with a New York publisher and after only one year, he moved out to Hollywood to write film music. He got a song into a film -- Show of Shows (1929) -- that same year, with many more to follow, including Gift of Gab, The Gay Divorcee, Hats Off (1936), Radio City Revels (1938), and Sing Your Way Home (1945), to name just a few. Some of Magidson's best-known songs include his Academy Award-winner "The Continental" (1934), "Midnight in Paris" (1935), "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" (1936), "Gone With the Wind" (1937), "Music, Maestro, Please" (1938), "How Long Has This Been Going On?" (1939), "I'll Buy That Dream" (1945), and "I'll Dance at Your Wedding" (1947). His last hits, which include "Happiness," came in 1951. Over the years, Magidson collaborated with many lyricists such as Con Conrad, Allie Wrubel, Carl Sigman, Sam H. Stept, and Sammy Fain.

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