Dick Manning

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A popular songwriter during the late '40s and '50s, best known for hi novelty songs.
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b. Samuel Medoff, 12 June 1912, Gomel, Russia, d. 11 April 1991, Marietta, Georgia, USA. A popular songwriter during the late 40s and 50s, who sometimes wrote both music and lyrics, and was probably best-known for hi novelty songs. Born into a theatrical family, Manning was taken to the USA when he was six years old, and studied at the Philadelphia Conservatory and Juilliard. A gifted pianist at an early age, he gave concerts and later served as an accompanist, arranger and music coach for singers, while working in theatre and television as an arranger and conductor. One of his first compositions, with F.D. Marchetti and Maurice De Feraudy, was ‘Fascination’ (1932). He hosted Sam Medoff And His Yiddish Swing Orchestra on radio station WHN, before changing his name in 1948. In the same year his composition, ‘The Treasure Of Sierra Madre’, written with Buddy Kaye, was a hit for Buddy Cole and Freddy Martin, and became the title song for John Huston’s film starring Humphrey Bogart. Manning’s other 40s songs included ‘While The Angelus Was Ringing’, ‘A Carnival In Venice’ (a hit for the Mills Brothers), ‘Donna Bella’ and the jaunty ‘One More Dream (And She’s Mine)’. It was during the 50s, though, that Manning made his greatest impact, mostly in collaboration with lyricist Al Hoffman. Their novelty songs included ‘Takes Two To Tango’, which became a hit in the US for Pearl Bailey and Louis Armstrong, and somewhat surprisingly, was recorded in the UK by Hermione Gingold and the grumpy television personality, Gilbert Harding; and ‘Papa Loves Mambo’ and ‘Hot Diggity (Dog Ziggity Boom)’, both of which were successful for Perry Como. The latter song was also a hit in the UK for Michael Holliday and the Stargazers.

Other ballads written by Manning included ‘Allegheny Moon’ (which Patti Page took almost to the top of the US chart in 1956), ‘Hawaiian Wedding Song’ (successful for Andy Williams in 1959) and ‘The Morning Side Of The Mountain’ (a US hit for Tommy Edwards in 1959, and revived by Donny and Marie Osmond in 1975). In the 60s, Manning (with Fred Wise) contributed ‘(There’s) No Room To Rhumba In A Sports Car’ to the Elvis Presley movie Fun In Acapulco (1963). Manning’ songs, which are said to have been published in 27 languages, also included ‘Like I Do’ (UK Top 5 for Maureen Evans), ‘Festival Of Roses’, ‘I Still Feel The Same About You’, ‘I Can’t Get You Out Of My Heart’, ‘Redwood Smoke’, ‘When You Kiss Me’, ‘Oh, Oh, I’m Falling In Love Again’, ‘Torero’ (a hit for Renato Carosone and Julius La Rosa), ‘Jilted’ (popular for Teresa Brewer), ‘Underneath The Linden Tree’, ‘Don’t Stay Away Too Long’, ‘Mama, Teach Me To Dance’ and ‘Nickelodeon Song’. He also wrote the score for the television production The Boys From Boise, and a symphonic piece for piano and orchestra entitled ‘Nightbird’. Among his other collaborators were Kay Twomey and Al Stillman.