Composer Jerry Livingston was born Gerald Levinson on March 25, 1909, in Denver, CO. After completing his studies at the University of Arizona, he played piano in a Denver dance combo, also writing a handful of collegiate stage productions before relocating to New York City in 1932. Livingston soon scored his first hit, "When It's Darkness on the Delta," in collaboration with Marty Symes; the duo reunited the following year for "Under a Blanket of Blue," seeking third-party assistance from Al J. Neiberg to complete "It's the Talk of the Town." Livingston also teamed with composer Al Hoffman and lyricist Milton Drake for a number of hits, among them "I'm a Big Girl Now," "She Broke My Heart in Three," "Ashby De La Zooch," "If I'm Not Back in Five Minutes," and, most famously, the 1943 smash "Mairzy Doats." After writing "Blue and Sentimental" with Count Basie, Livingston increasingly began focusing his energies on Hollywood; his score to the 1950 Disney animated feature Cinderella generated the Oscar-nominated "A Wish Is a Dream Your Heart Makes" and he also composed music for 1951's animated Alice in Wonderland, in addition to a number of Dean Martin/Jerry Lewis comedies. For television, Livingston also authored themes for Casper, the Friendly Ghost and 77 Sunset Strip prior to his death in 1987.
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