Ken Darby

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Ken Darby
BornKenneth Lorin Darby
(1909-05-13)May 13, 1909
Hebron, Nebraska, U.S.
DiedJanuary 24, 1992(1992-01-24) (aged 82)
Sherman Oaks, California
Resting placeForest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills)
OccupationComposer
Vocal arranger
Conductor
Spouse(s)Vera Matson (1932–1992)
 
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Ken Darby
BornKenneth Lorin Darby
(1909-05-13)May 13, 1909
Hebron, Nebraska, U.S.
DiedJanuary 24, 1992(1992-01-24) (aged 82)
Sherman Oaks, California
Resting placeForest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills)
OccupationComposer
Vocal arranger
Conductor
Spouse(s)Vera Matson (1932–1992)

Kenneth Lorin Darby (May 13, 1909 – January 24, 1992) was an American composer, vocal arranger, lyricist, and conductor. His film scores were recognized with three Academy Awards and one Grammy Award. He provided vocals for the Munchkinland Mayor in The Wizard of Oz (1939). Charlie Becker portrayed the Mayor's physical appearance.

Contents

Personal life

Kenneth Lorin Darby was born in Hebron, Nebraska, on May 13, 1909, to Lorin Edward Darby and Clara Alice Powell.[1]

Career

Ken Darby's choral group, The Ken Darby Singers, sang backup for Bing Crosby on the original 1942 Decca Records studio recording of "White Christmas." They also sang on the first album ever made of the songs from The Wizard of Oz, in 1940, a film on which Darby had worked. However, the album was a studio cast recording, not a true soundtrack album, although it did feature Judy Garland, and it did not use the film's original arrangements.

He also performed as part of a vocal quartet, "The King's Men", who recorded several songs with Paul Whiteman's orchestra in the mid-1930s, and were the featured vocalists on the Fibber McGee and Molly radio program from 1940 through 1953. They also participated on the soundtracks of several MGM films, including The Wizard Of Oz and occasional Tom and Jerry cartoons.

He was a composer and production supervisor for Walt Disney Studios, and was choral and vocal director on the 1946 Disney film classic, Song of the South.

He was Marilyn Monroe's vocal coach for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) and There's No Business Like Show Business (1954).

He was also the principal composer of the 1956 Elvis Presley hit "Love Me Tender" for the movie of the same name, but signed the rights over to his wife, Vera Matson, whose name appears as co-lyricist and co-composer with Elvis Presley. The song was adapted from the Civil War era song "Aura Lee".[1]

An avid fan of Nero Wolfe, Rex Stout's fictional detective genius, Darby wrote a detailed biography of Wolfe's home titled The Brownstone House of Nero Wolfe (1983).[2]

Ken Darby died January 24, 1992, in the final stages of production of his last book, Hollywood Holyland: The Filming and Scoring of 'The Greatest Story Ever Told' (1992).[3]

Awards

Academy Awards

Grammy Awards

References

  1. ^ a b Cook, Page, prelude to Ken Darby's Hollywood Holyland: The Filming and Scoring of 'The Greatest Story Ever Told' . Metuchen, New Jersey : Scarecrow Press, 1992 ISBN 0-8108-2509-0 pp. xiii–xxx
  2. ^ Darby, Ken, The Brownstone House of Nero Wolfe. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1983 ISBN 0-316-17280-4
  3. ^ Darby, Ken, Hollywood Holyland: The Filming and Scoring of 'The Greatest Story Ever Told' . Metuchen, New Jersey : Scarecrow Press, 1992 ISBN 0-8108-2509-0 p. xii

External links