Mitchell Parish

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Lyricist Mitchell Parish collaborated with great American composers, including Duke Ellington, and had a long list of hit songs spanning the 1920s through the 1950s. Although he was born in Shreveport,…
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Lyricist Mitchell Parish collaborated with great American composers, including Duke Ellington, and had a long list of hit songs spanning the 1920s through the 1950s. Although he was born in Shreveport, LA, on July 10, 1900, Parish grew up in N.Y.C. and later studied at Columbia and N.Y.U. He got a job as a staff writer for a music publisher and had his first song published by the time he was in his late twenties. His first big success came in 1928 with "Sweet Lorraine." Long interested in literature and poetry, Parish became a first-rate lyricist who followed up this hit with the words for Hoagy Carmichael's "Star Dust," which became one of the top American pop songs . Parish went on to work with many other composers, including Duke Ellington and Oscar winner Sammy Fain, and collaborated with lyricist Irving Mills. His songs were used in such stage shows as Blackbirds of 1934, Blackbirds of 1939, Earl Carroll's Vanities (1940), and It Happens on Ice (1940), as well as in the 1953 film Ruby Gentry. Some of his most successful songs were "Mood Indigo" and "Corrine, Corrina" (1931), "Sophisticated Lady" (1933), "It's Wonderful" (1938), "Moonlight Serenade" (from Blackbirds of 1939), "Let Me Love You Tonight" (1944), and "All My Love" (1950). Parish also added lyrics to existing songs, as with the Leroy Anderson songs "Blue Tango" and "Sleigh Ride," Claude Debussy's "Clair de Lune" (which became "Moonlight Love" in 1956), and the Italian song "Volare" (1958).